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Feature | May 5, 2020

Global Sea Piracy Ticks Upwards, and the Coronavirus May Make it Worse

By Brandon Prins (Minerva)

Brandon Prins is a Minerva-funded researcher who studies maritime piracy. In his recent article he discusses why the coronavirus may make piracy even more of a problem in the coming months and years. Piracy most affects poor counties with few resources and weak governments. With the potential shift to public safety efforts away from sea piracy and toward more immediate concerns on land due to COVID-19, this will create opportunities for pirates. Additionally, the disease will make it harder for crews to protect their ships. A decline in consumer spending around the globe means less trace, which brings less revenue for shipping companies to spend on armed guards or other methods of protecting ships against pirates. As a result of these factors, ships will likely become easier targets for attacks.