Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pirates and oil

November 17 Somali pirates captured Saudi oil tanker Sirius Star carrying over 2 million barrels of oil destined for the USA. This is probably a record bounty as well as the farthest from their home shores the Somali pirates have boarded a ship.

At first I didn't even think of posting it here. Although it is so obviously ecowar relevant. Fortunately, I just discovered a very interesting blog - Oil and Glory by Steve LeVine - that I will surely be visiting in the future and his latest post - Pirates and Oil.

But this story is a lot deeper than just criminals extorting oil and shipping companies. The shores of Somali used to be rich with fish that provided the livelihood for many fishermen and food for the country's citizen. Torn apart by civil war the Somali government is unable to protect it's waters which is being looted by foreign trawlers. From Europe too.

Consequently, fishermen have turned pirates. Read more at Protecting Somalia's Fishing Grounds and Somali Fishermen Support Somali Pirates.

Muslim militias have vowed to fight these pirates to have the 'Muslim oil' released (Militants, pirates may fight over Saudi oil tanker). More likely, they are in it for the US$25 million ransom - these militiamen have been less worried in the past.

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