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almost all of them are in international waters, by about 300 feet.  many were carrying nickel bags, or quat, so they aren't reliable.  so, drop out of bu.

--- On Sat, 6/13/09, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From: Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: "Foreigners are the real pirates"
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009, 11:53 AM
> What percentage of the ships captured
> by pirates are in Somali waters and what percentage in
> international waters? That would be an important thing to
> know. The claim by Somali pirates that they are patriots
> protecting their nation's environment should be viewed
> with at least some skepticism.
> 
> 
> 
> MB
> 
> On Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 4:05 AM,
> Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article6481875.ece
> 
> 
> June 12, 2009
> 
> 
> Foreigners are the real pirates, says former Somali
> fisherman
> 
> 
> 
> by Tristan McConnell in Berbera, Somalia
> 
> 
> The first time Farah Ismail Eid set out to hijack a
> ship off the
> coast of Somalia his boat was easily outrun. On the second
> occasion he
> kept pace but his boarding ladder was too short. On the
> third attempt
> he was captured.
> 
> 
> Eid, 38, from Eyl on the Somalia coast, is one of an
> estimated
> 1,500 fishermen-turned-pirates who have made the seas
> between the Suez
> Canal and the Indian Ocean the most dangerous shipping
> route in the
> world.
> 
> 
> 
> "I believe the title of pirates should be given to
> those who come to
> our waters illegally," he told The Times after
> shuffling into a room
> at the British colonial-era Mandheera prison, 40 miles
> south of
> Berbera, wearing plastic sandals, a T-shirt and a length of
> printed
> material wrapped around his skinny waist.
> 
> 
> 
> Eid may have not proved himself much of a pirate, but
> others have
> attacked at least 114 ships this year, 29 successfully.
> About 20 ships
> and 300 crew are being held hostage, while dozens of
> international
> warships now patrol the Gulf of Aden.
> 
> 
> 
> International forces have been wringing their hands over
> how to deal
> with captured pirates. In many cases they are simply
> released after
> their equipment is destroyed - but Eid and his four-man
> crew were
> tried and given 15-year prison terms. "When we capture
> the pirates
> we bring them to justice," said Ahmed Ali, the deputy
> head of the
> ill-equipped Somaliland Coastguard.
> 
> 
> 
> Mandheera prison is straight out of a spaghetti western:
> hot wind
> blows dust devils across a scorched plain surrounded by
> rocky,
> scrub-covered hills. A few eucalyptus trees offer scant
> shelter from
> the 40C (104F) heat. Barred windows in the 6m (20ft) walls
> let little
> light into the sweltering cells that are home to 633
> prisoners,
> including the five pirates caught in September last year.
> Another 31
> have been captured and brought here since.
> 
> 
> 
> Eid blamed foreigners for the rise of piracy. He said he
> had a couple
> of boats and a fish-trading business in Eyl until illegal
> trawlers
> ruined the fishing: "The fish we caught used to be
> enough for the
> local people and enough to sell, but now there is not even
> enough to
> eat."
> 
> 
> 
> Foreign ships started dumping toxic waste in Somali waters,
> he said,
> and one day he found shoals of fish floating. "We
> thought we were
> lucky. We collected the fish and stored them in
> refrigerators, then
> later we discovered they were like plastic.
> 
> 
> 
> "These problems fell on us like rain," he said,
> his right leg
> twitching as he chewed on a mouthful of qat, a narcotic
> leaf enjoyed
> by many Somalis.
> 
> 
> 
> Eid said that fishermen bought guns and set out to exact
> informal
> taxes on the foreign owners of illegal trawlers. The
> kidnapping
> business proved lucrative, with ransoms of hundreds of
> thousands of
> dollars regularly paid out - and any noble motives were
> soon
> forgotten as pirate gangs launched attacks on cruise liners
> and cargo
> ships, including those carrying food for Somalia's
> starving
> millions.
> 
> 
> 
> He justified the attacks as a way of highlighting their
> concerns.
> "We are quite aware that what we are doing is wrong,
> but this is a way
> of shouting to the world," he said. "The world
> should ask: 'Are
> these people wrong or were they wronged themselves?"
> 
> 
> 
> Eid has his own solution to the problem. "The
> international
> community should come and talk to us; they should
> compensate us for
> the problems caused to our waters by illegal fishing and
> toxic waste,"
> he said. "Then, until the government is in place in
> Somalia, we
> could protect the ships as they cross our waters."
> 
> 
> 
> The international community is unlikely to take him up on
> the
> offer.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> ******************************************
> Michael Balter
> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> Boston University
> 
> Email:           [log in to unmask]
> 
> 
> 
> Website:       michaelbalter.com
> Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com
> ****************************************** 
> 
> 
> 
>