Since its reemergence in the late 1970s, maritime piracy has been a consistent, if isolated, threat on the world's oceans. As a crime it is defined as any illegal act of violence, detention, or depredation committed against a ship or its crew for private means. The majority of modern pirate acts have unfolded in the waters off southeast Asia and East Africa, where major shipping arteries pass through natural choke points, during times in which littoral (close to shore) states are either unable or unwilling to effectively police their coastlines. People engaging in piracy are often fishermen or merchant sailors, who have formed criminal gangs or are in the employ of criminal syndicates. Piracy impacts on disaster management in at least two ways. It ...

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