Piracy in Somalia:Threatening International Trade

Essay by szczygielUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2009

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Executive SummaryThe Canadian Chamber of Commerce urges the immediate deployment of Canadian naval vessels to the coast of Somalia in order to secure a vital international maritime shipping route. Canada's Department of National Defence has the responsibility to act quickly and decisively by joining international efforts to secure the safety and stability of the Gulf of Aden.

The coast of Somalia has become the world's most dangerous route for shipping companies, and international trade faces major disruptions due to this situation. Attacks by pirates have become a near-daily occurrence, and the number of hostages taken, as well as the ransoms demanded have both increased significantly.

Somalia is at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. A failure to act will cause long-term repercussions for international maritime shipping; the surge in piracy has already led to a ten-fold increase in insurance rates for ships passing through the region.

If the situation is not addressed, shipping companies will be forced to utilize a longer shipping route to Europe and North America, around the Cape of Good Hope, which will add a considerable distance to international shipping routes. The extra travel time and fuel consumption requirements will result in considerably increased shipping costs and severe negative consequences for international trade.

The international community has begun to address the problem at hand. A recent U.N. Security Council resolution permits foreign ships to enter Somali waters to combat piracy; however, Canada's current involvement is limited. The international community has begun to establish a secure shipping lane through the Gulf of Aden; nonetheless, these forces are stretched thin, and Canada can help fill the gaps in the current patrols.

IntroductionA dramatic increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia is posing a serious threat to...