Piracy

Piracy

Overview

Piracy is an act of robbery
Robbery
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear....

 or criminal violence
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

 at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore
Shore
A shore or shoreline is the fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water, such as an ocean, sea, or lake. In Physical Oceanography a shore is the wider fringe that is geologically modified by the action of the body of water past and present, while the beach is at the edge of the shore,...

. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel). The term has been used to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents.

Piracy is the name of a specific crime under customary international law
Customary international law
Customary international law are those aspects of international law that derive from custom. Along with general principles of law and treaties, custom is considered by the International Court of Justice, jurists, the United Nations, and its member states to be among the primary sources of...

 and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of States.
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Piracy is an act of robbery
Robbery
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear....

 or criminal violence
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

 at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore
Shore
A shore or shoreline is the fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water, such as an ocean, sea, or lake. In Physical Oceanography a shore is the wider fringe that is geologically modified by the action of the body of water past and present, while the beach is at the edge of the shore,...

. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel). The term has been used to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents.

Piracy is the name of a specific crime under customary international law
Customary international law
Customary international law are those aspects of international law that derive from custom. Along with general principles of law and treaties, custom is considered by the International Court of Justice, jurists, the United Nations, and its member states to be among the primary sources of...

 and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of States. It is distinguished from privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

ing, which is authorized by national authorities and therefore a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors. Privateering is considered commerce raiding
Commerce raiding
Commerce raiding or guerre de course is a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt the logistics of an enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging the combatants themselves or enforcing a blockade against them.Commerce raiding was heavily criticised by...

, and was outlawed by the Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October of 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the...

 (1648) for signatories to those treaties.

Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates. Historically, offenders have usually been apprehended by military personnel and tried by military tribunals.

Today the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 is facing many problems in bringing pirates to justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

.

Etymology


The English "pirate" is derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 term pirata and that from Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 "πειρατής" (peiratēs), "brigand", in turn from "πειράομαι" (peiráomai), "I attempt", from "πεῖρα" (peîra), "attempt, experience". The word is also cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 to peril.

Ancient origins




It may be reasonable to assume that piracy has existed for as long as the oceans were plied for commerce. The earliest documented instances of piracy are the exploits of the Sea Peoples
Sea Peoples
The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of seafaring raiders of the second millennium BC who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean, caused political unrest, and attempted to enter or control Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty and especially during year 8 of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty...

 who threatened the Aegean
Aegean civilization
Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age civilizations of Greece around the Aegean Sea. There are three distinct but communicating and interacting geographic regions covered by this term: Crete, the Cyclades and the Greek mainland. Crete is associated with the Minoan civilization...

 and Mediterranean in the 14th century BC. These pirates were known to wield cutlass
Cutlass
A cutlass is a short, broad sabre or slashing sword, with a straight or slightly curved blade sharpened on the cutting edge, and a hilt often featuring a solid cupped or basket shaped guard...

es, a type of sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

 common in that era. In Classical Antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

, the Illyrians
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

 and Tyrrhenians
Tyrrhenians
The Tyrrhenians or Tyrsenians is an exonym used by Greek authors to refer to a non-Greek people.- Earliest references :...

 were known as pirates, as well as Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. During their voyages the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns seem to have sometimes resorted to piracy, and specialized in kidnapping boys and girls to be sold as slaves.

In the 3rd century BC, pirate attacks on Olympos (city in Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

) brought impoverishment. Among some of the most famous ancient pirateering peoples were the Illyrians
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

, populating the western Balkan peninsula. Constantly raiding the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

, the Illyrians caused many conflicts with the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

. It was not until 168 BC when the Romans finally conquered Illyria, making it a province that ended their threat.

During the 1st century BC, there were pirate states along the Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n coast, threatening the commerce of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in the eastern Mediterranean. On one voyage across the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 in 75 BC, Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 was kidnapped by Cilicia
Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

n pirates and held prisoner in the Dodecanese
Dodecanese
The Dodecanese are a group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, of which 26 are inhabited. Τhis island group generally defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the Southern Sporades island group...

 islet of Pharmacusa. He maintained an attitude of superiority and good cheer throughout his captivity. When the pirates decided to demand a ransom of twenty talents
Talent (weight)
The "talent" was one of several ancient units of mass, as well as corresponding units of value equivalent to these masses of a precious metal. It was approximately the mass of water required to fill an amphora. A Greek, or Attic talent, was , a Roman talent was , an Egyptian talent was , and a...

 of gold, Caesar is said to have insisted that he was worth at least fifty, and the pirates indeed raised the ransom to fifty talents. After the ransom was paid and Caesar was released, he raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates, and had them crucified.

The Senate finally invested with powers to deal with piracy in 67 BC (the Lex Gabinia
Lex Gabinia
In the law of ancient Rome, the Lex Gabinia of 67 BC granted Pompeius Magnus extraordinary proconsular powers in any province within 50 miles of the Mediterranean Sea...

), and Pompey after three months of naval warfare managed to suppress the threat.

As early as 258 AD, the Gothic
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

-Heruli
Heruli
The Heruli were an East Germanic tribe who are famous for their naval exploits. Migrating from Northern Europe to the Black Sea in the third century They were part of the...

c fleet ravaged towns on the coasts of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 and Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

. The Aegean
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 coast suffered similar attacks a few years later. In 264, the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 reached Galatia
Galatia
Ancient Galatia was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia in modern Turkey. Galatia was named for the immigrant Gauls from Thrace , who settled here and became its ruling caste in the 3rd century BC, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC. It has been called the "Gallia" of...

 and Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevşehir Province.In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine...

, and Gothic pirates landed on Cyprus and Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

. In the process, the Goths seized enormous booty and took thousands into captivity.

In 286 AD, Carausius
Carausius
Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Valerius Carausius was a military commander of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century. He was a Menapian from Belgic Gaul, who usurped power in 286, declaring himself emperor in Britain and northern Gaul. He did this only 13 years after the Gallic Empire of the Batavian...

, a Roman military commander of Gaulish origins, was appointed to command the Classis Britannica
Classis Britannica
The Classis Britannica was a provincial naval fleet of the navy of ancient Rome. Its purpose was to control the English Channel and the waters around the Roman province of Britannia...

, and given the responsibility of eliminating Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 and Saxon
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 pirates who had been raiding the coasts of Armorica
Armorica
Armorica or Aremorica is the name given in ancient times to the part of Gaul that includes the Brittany peninsula and the territory between the Seine and Loire rivers, extending inland to an indeterminate point and down the Atlantic coast...

 and Belgic Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

.

In the Roman province of Britannia, Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick was a Romano-Briton and Christian missionary, who is the most generally recognized patron saint of Ireland or the Apostle of Ireland, although Brigid of Kildare and Colmcille are also formally patron saints....

 was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates.

Early Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

n warrior
Warrior
A warrior is a person skilled in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based society that recognizes a separate warrior class.-Warrior classes in tribal culture:...

s attacked seaside and riverside villages. They used the sea for their hit-and-run tactics
Hit-and-run tactics
Hit-and-run tactics is a tactical doctrine where the purpose of the combat involved is not to seize control of territory, but to inflict damage on a target and immediately exit the area to avoid the enemy's defense and/or retaliation.-History:...

 – a safe place to retreat to if the battle turned against them.

Middle Ages to 19th century


The most widely known and far reaching pirates in medieval Europe were the Vikings, warriors and looters from Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 who raided mainly between the 8th and 12th centuries, during the Viking Age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

 in the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

. They raided the coasts, rivers and inland cities of all Western Europe as far as Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, attacked by the Norse in 844. Vikings even attacked coasts of North Africa and Italy. They also plundered all the coasts of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, ascending the rivers of Eastern Europe as far as the Black Sea and Persia. The lack of centralized powers all over Europe during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 favoured pirates all over the continent.

In the Late Middle Ages, the Frisian pirates
Arumer Zwarte Hoop
The Arumer Zwarte Hoop was an army of peasant rebels in Friesland fighting the Dutch authorities from 1515 to 1523....

 led by respectively Pier Gerlofs Donia
Pier Gerlofs Donia
Pier Gerlofs Donia was a Frisian warrior, pirate, and rebel. He is best known by his West Frisian nickname "Grutte Pier" , or by the Dutch translations "Grote Pier" and "Lange Pier", or, in Latin, "Pierius Magnus", which referred to his legendary size and strength. His life is mostly shrouded in...

 and Wijerd Jelckama
Wijerd Jelckama
Wijerd Jelckama was a Frisian military commander, warlord and member of the Arumer Zwarte Hoop . He was the lieutenant of Pier Gerlofs Donia and fought along his side against the Saxon and Hollandic invaders...

, fought against the troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Empire with some success, capturing as many as 28 ships in one battle earning Donia the title "Cross of the Dutchman
Cross of the Dutchman
Cross of the Dutchman or CotD is an upcoming game by the Dutch game developer Triangle Studios. CotD will be an action adventure game about the Frisian folk hero Pier Gerlofs Donia and is set in sixteenth century Western Europe...

" and making him one of the most famous and iconic pirates of the era.

Meanwhile, Moor
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 pirates were common in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. Toward the end of the 9th century, Moor
Moor
-Ethnicity:*Moors, several historic and modern populations from North Africa*Sri Lankan Moor, a minority ethnic group of Sri Lanka*Marakkar, a Muslim minority ethnic group of India-Places:...

 pirate havens were established along the coast of southern France and northern Italy. In 846 Moor raiders sacked Rome
Sack of Rome (846)
In 846 Arab raiders plundered the environs of Rome, including the Vatican, sacking Old St. Peter's and St. Paul's-Outside-the-Walls, but were prevented from entering the city itself by the Aurelian Wall...

 and damaged the Vatican. In 911, the bishop of Narbonne
Narbonne
Narbonne is a commune in southern France in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It lies from Paris in the Aude department, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Once a prosperous port, it is now located about from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea...

 was unable to return to France from Rome because the Moors from Fraxinet
Fraxinet
Fraxinet or Fraxinetum was the site of a tenth-century fortress established by Saracen pirates at modern La Garde-Freinet, near Saint-Tropez, in Provence...

 controlled all the passes in the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. Moor pirates operated out of the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 in the 10th century. From 824 to 961 Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 pirates in Emirate of Crete
Emirate of Crete
The Emirate of Crete was a Muslim state that existed on the Mediterranean island of Crete from the late 820s to the Byzantine reconquest of the island in 961....

 raided the entire Mediterranean. In the 14th century, raids by Moor pirates forced the Venetian Duke of Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 to ask Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 to keep its fleet on constant guard.

After the Slavic invasions of the Balkan peninsula in the 5th and 6th centuries, a Slavic tribe settled the land of Pagania between Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 and Zachlumia
Zachlumia
Zachlumia or Zahumlje was a medieval principality located in modern-day regions of Herzegovina and southern Dalmatia...

 in the first half of the 7th century. These Slavs revived the old Illyrian piratical habits and often raided the Adriatic Sea. By 642 they invaded southern Italy and assaulted Siponto
Siponto
Siponto was an ancient port town of Apulia in southern Italy. The town was abandoned after earthquakes in the 13th century; today the area is administered as a frazione of the comune of Manfredonia, in the province of Foggia...

. Their raids in the Adriatic increased rapidly, until the whole Sea was no longer safe for travel.

The Narentines, as they were called, took more liberties in their raiding quests while the Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 Navy was abroad, as when it was campaigning in Sicilian waters in 827–882. As soon as the Venetian fleet would return to the Adriatic, the Narentines temporarily abandoned their habits again, even signing a Treaty in Venice and baptising their Slavic pagan leader into Christianity. In 834 or 835 they broke the treaty and again the Neretva pirates raided Venetian traders returning from Benevento, and all of Venice's military attempts to punish the Marians in 839 and 840 utterly failed. Later, they raided the Venetians more often, together with the Arabs. In 846, the Narentines broke through to Venice itself and raided its lagoon city of Caorle
Caorle
Caorle is a coastal town in the province of Venice, Veneto, Italy, located between the estuaries of the Livenza and Lemene rivers. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea between two other famous touristic towns, Eraclea and Bibione.-History:...

. In the middle of March of 870 they kidnapped the Roman Bishop's emissaries that were returning from the Ecclesiastical Council in Constantinople. This caused a Byzantine military action against them that finally brought Christianity to them.

After the Arab
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 raids on the Adriatic coast c. 872 and the retreat of the Imperial Navy, the Narentines continued their raids of Venetian waters, causing new conflicts with the Italians in 887–888. The Venetians futilely continued to fight them throughout the 10th and 11th centuries.


In 937, Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 pirates sided with the Scots, Vikings, Picts
Picts
The Picts were a group of Late Iron Age and Early Mediaeval people living in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. There is an association with the distribution of brochs, place names beginning 'Pit-', for instance Pitlochry, and Pictish stones. They are recorded from before the Roman conquest...

, and Welsh in their invasion of England. Athelstan drove them back.

The Slavic piracy
Slavic piracy
In the Baltic Sea region, groups of pirates of Slavic descent lived dating as far back as the 8th century to the 14th century.Baltic Slavs, whose agriculture was not highly developed in early 800, were in dire need of resources, since the dry islets were the only ones capable of cultivation and...

 in the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 ended with the Danish conquest of the Rani
Rani (Slavic tribe)
The Rani or Rujani were a West Slavic tribe based on the island of Rugia and the southwestern mainland across the Strelasund in what is today northeastern Germany....

 stronghold of Arkona
Cape Arkona
Cape Arkona is a cape on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Cape Arkona is the tip of the Wittow peninsula, just a few kilometres north of the Jasmund National Park....

 in 1168. In the 12th century the coasts of western Scandinavia were plundered by Curonians
Curonians
The Curonians or Kurs were a Baltic tribe living on the shores of the Baltic sea in what are now the western parts of Latvia and Lithuania from the 5th to the 16th centuries, when they merged with other Baltic tribes. They gave their name to the region of Courland , and they spoke the Old...

 and Oeselians
Oeselians
The Oeselians were a historical Finnic people inhabiting Saaremaa , an Estonian island in the Baltic Sea. They are first thought to be mentioned as early as the 2nd century BC in Ptolemy's Geography III. The Oeselians along with Curonians were known in the Old Norse Icelandic Sagas and in...

 from the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. In the 13th and 14th century pirates threatened the Hanseatic
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 routes and nearly brought sea trade to the brink of extinction. The Victual Brothers
Victual Brothers
The Victual Brothers were a companionship of privateers who later turned to piracy. They were hired in 1392 by the Dukes of Mecklenburg to fight against Denmark, because the Danish Queen Margaret I had imprisoned Albrecht of Mecklenburg and his son in order to subdue the kingdom of Sweden...

 of Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

 were a companionship of privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

s who later turned to piracy. Until about 1440, maritime trade in both the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and the Baltic Sea was seriously in danger of attack by the pirates.

H. Thomas Milhorn mentions a certain Englishman named William Maurice, convicted of piracy in 1241, as the first person known to have been hanged, drawn and quartered
Hanged, drawn and quartered
To be hanged, drawn and quartered was from 1351 a penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reigns of King Henry III and his successor, Edward I...

, which would indicate that the then-ruling King Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 took an especially severe view of this crime.

The ushkuiniks
Ushkuiniks
The ushkuiniks were medieval Novgorodian pirates who led the Viking-like life of fighting, killing, and robbery. Their name derives from "ushkui", a type of flat-bottom medieval Finnish ship Uisko , which could be easily transported over portages between the rivers.Although the Novgorodians took...

 were Novgorodian pirates who looted the cities on the Volga and Kama
Kama
Kāma is often translated from Sanskrit as sexual desire, sexual pleasure, sensual gratification, sexual fulfillment, or eros54654564+more broadly mean desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, without sexual connotations.-Kama in...

 Rivers in the 14th century.

As early as Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 times, the Maniots
Maniots
The Maniots or Maniates are the Greek inhabitants of the Mani Peninsula located in the southern Peloponnese in the Greek prefecture of Laconia and prefecture of Messinia. They were also formerly known as Mainotes and the peninsula as Maina. The Maniots are the direct descendants of the Spartans...

 (one of Greece's toughest populations) were known as pirates. The Maniots considered piracy as a legitimate response to the fact that their land was poor and it became their main source of income. The main victims of Maniot pirates were the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 but the Maniots also targeted ships of European countries.

The Haida and Tlingit tribes, who lived along the coast of southern Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 and on islands in northwest British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, were traditionally known as fierce warrior
Warrior
A warrior is a person skilled in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based society that recognizes a separate warrior class.-Warrior classes in tribal culture:...

s, pirates and slave-traders, raiding as far as California.

In India


Instances of Piracy in India are recorded on Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

. However, the most interesting one is when the issue of war due to piracy. Invasion of Sindh, In the 7th century the new kingdom of Hajjaz launched trade ships to India especially Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. But, a ship enroute from Sri Lanka to Baghdad was carrying valuables and some slave girls which were looted off Debal
Debal
-Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

. One of the slave girls sent a letter challenging the Caliph saying that he cannot rescue them. The Caliph sent a portion of his army to save the slaves. But, the people of Sindh became wary and thought of this army as a threat. This became an excuse for war between Arabs and Sindh. Since the 14th century the Deccan (Southern Peninsular region of India) was divided into two entities: on the one side stood the Muslim Bahmani Sultanate
Bahmani Sultanate
The Bahmani Sultanate was a Muslim state of the Deccan in southern India and one of the great medieval Indian kingdoms...

 and on the other stood the Hindu kings rallied around the Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
The Vijayanagara Empire , referred as the Kingdom of Bisnaga by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South Indian in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Yadava lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts...

. Continuous wars demanded frequent resupplies of fresh horses, which were imported through sea routes from Persia and Africa. This trade was subjected to frequent raids by thriving bands of pirates based in the coastal cities of Western India. One of such was Timoji
Timoji
Timoji was a Hindu privateer who served the Vijayanagara Empire and the Portuguese Empire during the first decade of the 16th century. He claimed to have been born in Goa and to have escaped the city after its conquest by the Adil Shahi of Bijapur in 1496...

, who operated off Anjadip Island
Anjadip Island
Anjadip Island is an island in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Canacona in the South Goa district, Goa, India. Legally and constitutionally, it remains a part of Goa, although there is a widespread misconception that it is a part of the Karnataka state off whose coast it lies.-History:Anjediva,...

 both as a privateer (by seizing horse traders, that he rendered to the raja of Honavar
Honavar
Honavar or Honnavar , is a port town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India. The town is the headquarters of Honnavar taluk.- History :...

) and as a pirate who attacked the Kerala merchant fleets that traded pepper with Gujarat.


During the 16th and 17th centuries there was frequent European piracy against Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 Indian merchants, especially those en route to Mecca for Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

. The situation came to a head, when Portuguese attacked and captured the vessel Rahimi which belonged to Mariam Zamani the Mughal queen, which led to the Mughal seizure of the Portuguese town Daman. In the 18th century, the famous Maratha
Maratha Empire
The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of South Asia, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km²....

 privateer Kanhoji Angre
Kanhoji Angre
Kanhoji Angre or Conajee Angria or Sarkhel Angre was the first notable chief of the Maratha Navy in 18th century India. He fought successfully all his life against the British, Dutch and Portuguese naval interests in the Indian Ocean during the 18th century, and hence was alleged by them to be a...

 ruled the seas between Mumbai and Goa. The Marathas attacked British shipping and insisted that East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 ships pay taxes if sailing through their waters.

At one stage, the pirate population of Madagascar numbered close to 1000. Île Sainte-Marie
Île Sainte-Marie
Île Sainte-Marie, known as Nosy Boraha , is an island off the east coast of Madagascar. The main town is Ambodifotatra. The city covers an area of 222 km2, and had a population estimated at 16,325 in 2001.- City :...

 became a popular base for pirates throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The most famous pirate utopia
Pirate utopia
Pirate utopias were described by anarchist writer Peter Lamborn Wilson in his 1995 book Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes as secret islands once used for supply purposes by pirates...

 is that of the probably fictional Captain Misson and his pirate crew, who allegedly founded the free colony of Libertatia
Libertatia
Libertatia is said to have been a libertarian communalist colony founded in the late 17th century in Madagascar by pirates under the leadership of Captain James Misson. Whether or not Libertatia actually existed is disputed...

 in northern Madagascar in the late 17th century, until it was destroyed in a surprise attack by the island natives in 1694.

The southern coast of the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 became known as the Pirate Coast as raiders based there harassed foreign shipping. Early British expeditions to protect the Indian Ocean trade
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

 from raiders at Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates , in the east of the Persian Gulf. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman's exclave. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of 263,217 as of 2008. The city...

 led to campaigns against that headquarters and other harbours along the coast in 1819.

In East Asia




From the 13th century, Wokou
Wokou
Wokou , which literally translates as "Japanese pirates" in English, were pirates of varying origins who raided the coastlines of China and Korea from the 13th century onwards...

 based in Japan made their debut in East Asia, initiating invasions that would persist for 300 years.

Piracy in South East Asia began with the retreating Mongol Yuan
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 fleet after the betrayal
Mongol invasion of Java
In 1293, Kublai Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, sent a large invasion fleet to Java with 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers...

 by their Javanese allies (who, incidentally, would found the empire of Majapahit after the Mongols left). They preferred the junk, a ship using a more robust sail layout. Marooned navy officers, consisting mostly of Cantonese
Cantonese people
The Cantonese people are Han people whose ancestral homes are in Guangdong, China. The term "Cantonese people" would then be synonymous with the Bun Dei sub-ethnic group, and is sometimes known as Gwong Fu Jan for this narrower definition...

 and Hokkien tribesmen, set up their small gangs near river estuaries, mainly to protect themselves. They recruited locals as common foot-soldiers known as 'lang' (lanun) to set up their fortresses. They survived by utilizing their well trained pugilists, as well as marine and navigation skills, mostly along Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

n and Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

nese estuaries. Their strength and ferocity coincided with the impending trade growth of the maritime silk and spice routes.

However the most powerful pirate fleets of East Asia were those of Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 pirates during the mid-Qing dynasty. Pirate fleets grew increasingly powerful throughout the early 19th century. The effects large-scale piracy had on the Chinese economy were immense. They preyed voraciously on China's junk trade, which flourished in Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 and Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 and was a vital artery of Chinese commerce. Pirate fleets exercised hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 over villages on the coast, collecting revenue by exacting tribute and running extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

 rackets. In 1802, the menacing Zheng Yi
Cheng I
Cheng I was one of the most powerful chinese pirate along the Chinese coast during the 19th century. He and his wife Ching Shih, an prostitute who he fell in love with captured Cheung Po Tsai and legend has it he was her lover. Cheung was later adopted by them...

 inherited the fleet of his cousin, captain Zheng Qi, whose death provided Zheng Yi with considerably more influence in the world of piracy. Zheng Yi and his wife, Zheng Yi Sao (who would eventually inherit the leadership of his pirate confederacy) then formed a pirate coalition that, by 1804, consisted of over ten thousand men. Their military might alone was sufficient to combat the Qing navy. However, a combination of famine, Qing naval opposition, and internal rifts crippled piracy in China around the 1820s, and it has never again reached the same status.

The Buginese
Bugis
The Bugis are the most numerous of the three major linguistic and ethnic groups of South Sulawesi, the southwestern province of Sulawesi, Indonesia's third largest island. Although many Bugis live in the large port cities of Makassar and Parepare, the majority are farmers who grow wet rice on the...

 sailors of South Sulawesi
South Sulawesi
South Sulawesi is a province of Indonesia, located on the western southern peninsula of Sulawesi Island. The province is bordered by Central Sulawesi province to the north, South East Sulawesi province to the east and West Sulawesi province to the west...

 were infamous as pirates who used to range as far west as Singapore and as far north as the Philippines in search of targets for piracy. The Orang laut
Orang Laut
The Orang Laut, or Bajau Laut are a group of Malay people living in the Riau Islands of Indonesia. It also may refer to any Malay origin people living on coastal islands, including those of Andaman Sea islands in Thailand and Burma, commonly known as Moken.-Etymology:The Malay term orang laut...

 pirates controlled shipping in the Straits of Malacca
Piracy in the Strait of Malacca
Piracy in the Strait of Malacca has historically been an unresolved threat to ship owners and the mariners who ply the 900 km-long sea lane...

 and the waters around Singapore, and the Malay and Sea Dayak
Iban people
The Ibans are a branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo. In Malaysia, most Ibans are located in Sarawak, a small portion in Sabah and some in west Malaysia. They were formerly known during the colonial period by the British as Sea Dayaks. Ibans were renowned for practising headhunting and...

 pirates preyed on maritime shipping in the waters between Singapore and Hong Kong from their haven in Borneo
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

.
In the 1840s and 1850s, United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 forces campaigned together against Chinese pirates. Several notable battles were fought
Battle of Tonkin River
The Battle of Tonkin River was a major naval battle fought in northern Vietnam between the pirates of Shap Ng-tsai and the British Royal Navy with aid from the Qing navy and the Tonkinese. The 1849 expedition led to the destruction of Shap Ng-tsai's fleet and the loss of over 2,000 men...

 though pirate junks
Junk (ship)
A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Han Dynasty and were used as sea-going vessels as early as the 2nd century AD. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages...

 continued operating off China for years more. During the Second Opium War
Second Opium War
The Second Opium War, the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war pitting the British Empire and the Second French Empire against the Qing Dynasty of China, lasting from 1856 to 1860...

 and the Taiping Rebellion
Taiping Rebellion
The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, led by heterodox Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, who, having received visions, maintained that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, against the ruling Manchu-led Qing Dynasty...

, piratical junks were again destroyed in large numbers by British naval forces but ultimately it wasn't until the 1860s and 1870s that fleets of pirate junks ceased to exist.

In Eastern Europe



One example of a pirate republic in Europe from the 16th through the 18th century was Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich was socio-political, grassroot, military organization of Ukrainian cossacks placed beyond Dnieper rapids. Sich existed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the region around the today's Kakhovka Reservoir...

. Situated in the remote Steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

, it was populated with Ukrainian peasants that had run away from their feudal masters, outlaws of every sort, destitute gentry, run-away slaves from Turkish galleys, etc. The remoteness of the place and the rapids at the Dnepr river effectively guarded the place from invasions of vengeful powers. The main target of the inhabitants of Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich
Zaporizhian Sich was socio-political, grassroot, military organization of Ukrainian cossacks placed beyond Dnieper rapids. Sich existed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the region around the today's Kakhovka Reservoir...

 who called themselves "Cossacks" were rich settlements at the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 shores of Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate, or Khanate of Crimea , was a state ruled by Crimean Tatars from 1441 to 1783. Its native name was . Its khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, the thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan...

. By 1615 and 1625, Zaporozhian Cossacks had even managed to raze townships on the outskirts of Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, forcing the Ottoman Sultan to flee his palace. Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks
Don Cossacks were Cossacks who settled along the middle and lower Don.- Etymology and origins :The Don Cossack Host was a frontier military organization from the end of the 16th until the early 20th century....

 under Stenka Razin
Stenka Razin
Stepan Timofeyevich Razin Тимофеевич Разин, ; 1630 – ) was a Cossack leader who led a major uprising against the nobility and Tsar's bureaucracy in South Russia.-Early life:...

 even ravaged the Persian coasts.

In North Africa



The Barbary pirates were pirates and privateers that operated from North African (the "Barbary coast
Barbary Coast
The Barbary Coast, or Barbary, was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the collective land of the Berber people. Today, the terms Maghreb and "Tamazgha" correspond roughly to "Barbary"...

") ports of Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

, Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

 and ports in Morocco, preying on shipping in the western Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 from the time of the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 as well as on ships on their way to Asia around Africa until the early 19th century. The coastal villages and towns of Italy, Spain and Mediterranean islands were frequently attacked by them and long stretches of the Italian and Spanish coasts were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants; after 1600 Barbary pirates occasionally entered the Atlantic and struck as far north as Iceland. According to Robert Davis between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves
Arab slave trade
The Arab slave trade was the practice of slavery in the Arab World, mainly Western Asia, North Africa, East Africa and certain parts of Europe during their period of domination by Arab leaders. The trade was focused on the slave markets of the Middle East and North Africa...

 in North Africa and Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 between the 16th and 19th centuries. The most famous corsair
Corsair
Corsairs were privateers, authorized to conduct raids on shipping of a nation at war with France, on behalf of the French Crown. Seized vessels and cargo were sold at auction, with the corsair captain entitled to a portion of the proceeds...

s were the Ottoman Hayreddin and his older brother Oruç Reis (Redbeard), Turgut Reis
Turgut Reis
Turgut Reis was an Ottoman Admiral and privateer who also served as Bey of Algiers; Beylerbey of the Mediterranean; and first Bey, later Pasha, of Tripoli. Under his naval command the Ottoman Empire maritime was extended across North Africa...

 (known as Dragut in the West), Kurtoğlu
Kurtoglu Muslihiddin Reis
Kurtoğlu Muslihiddin Reis was a privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Sanjak Bey of Rhodes. He played an important role in the Ottoman conquests of Egypt and Rhodes during which he commanded the Ottoman naval forces...

 (known as Curtogoli
Kurtoglu Muslihiddin Reis
Kurtoğlu Muslihiddin Reis was a privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Sanjak Bey of Rhodes. He played an important role in the Ottoman conquests of Egypt and Rhodes during which he commanded the Ottoman naval forces...

 in the West), Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis was a Turkish privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire. He was also the paternal uncle of the famous Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis who accompanied him in most of his important naval expeditions....

, Salih Reis
Salih Reis
Salih Reis was a Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral. He is alternatively referred to as Salah Rais, Sala Reis, Salih Rais, Salek Rais and Cale Arraez in several European resources, particularly in Spain, France and Italy.In 1529, together with Aydın Reis, he took part in the Turkish-Spanish...

 and Koca Murat Reis. A few Barbary pirates, such as the Dutch Jan Janszoon
Jan Janszoon
Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, commonly known as Murat Reis the younger was the first President and Grand Admiral of the Corsair Republic of Salé, Governor of Oualidia, and a Dutch pirate, one of the most notorious of the Barbary pirates from the 17th century; the most famous of the "Salé...

 and the English John Ward
John Ward (pirate)
John Ward or Birdy , also known as Jack Ward and under his Muslim name Yusuf Reis, was a notorious English pirate around the turn of the 17th century who later became a Barbary Corsair operating out of Tunis during the early 17th century.-Early life:Little is known about Ward's early life...

 [Yusuf Reis], were renegade European privateers who had converted to Islam.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States treated captured Barbary corsairs as prisoners of war, indicating that they were considered as legitimate privateers by at least some of their opponents, as well as by their home countries.

In the Caribbean




In 1523, Jean Fleury
Jean Fleury
Jean Fleury was a 16th century French naval officer and privateer. He is best known for the capture of two out of the three Spanish galleons carrying the Aztec treasure from Mexico to Spain in 1522...

 seized two Spanish treasure ships
Spanish treasure fleet
The Spanish treasure fleets was a convoy system adopted by the Spanish Empire from 1566 to 1790...

 carrying Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 treasures
from Mexico to Spain. The great or classic era of piracy in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 extends from around 1560 up until the mid 1720s. The period during which pirates were most successful was from 1700 until the 1730s. Many pirates came to the Caribbean after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

, they stayed in the Caribbean and became pirates shortly after that. Others, the buccaneer
Buccaneer
The buccaneers were privateers who attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean Sea during the late 17th century.The term buccaneer is now used generally as a synonym for pirate...

s, arrived in the mid-to-late 17th century and made attempts at earning a living by farming and hunting on Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

 and nearby islands; pressed by Spanish raids and possibly failure of their means of making a living, they turned to a more lucrative occupation. Caribbean piracy arose out of, and mirrored on a smaller scale, the conflicts over trade and colonization among the rival European powers of the time, including the empires of Britain
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, Spain
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, the Netherlands
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

, Portugal
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 and France
French colonial empires
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

. Most of these pirates were of English, Dutch and French origin, but occasionally even Spaniards might join in. The 1690 narrative of Alonso Ramirez, for example, documents how one Puerto Rican pirate captive ended up joining William Dampier
William Dampier
William Dampier was an English buccaneer, sea captain, author and scientific observer...

's company. Because Spain controlled most of the Caribbean, many of the attacked cities and ships belonged to the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 and along the East coast of America and the West coast of Africa. Dutch ships captured about 500 Spanish and Portuguese ships between 1623 and 1638. Some of the best-known pirate bases were New Providence
New Providence
New Providence is the most populous island in the Bahamas, containing more than 70% of the total population. It also houses the national capital city, Nassau.The island was originally under Spanish control following Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World, but the Spanish government showed...

, in the Bahamas from 1715 to 1725, Tortuga established in the 1640s and Port Royal
Port Royal
Port Royal was a city located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of the Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica. Founded in 1518, it was the centre of shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea during the latter half of the 17th century...

 after 1655. Among the most famous Caribbean pirates are Edward Teach or Blackbeard, Calico Jack Rackham
Calico Jack
John Rackham , commonly known as Calico Jack, was an English pirate captain operating in the Bahamas during the early 18th century...

, Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan
Admiral Sir Henry Morgan was an Admiral of the Royal Navy, a privateer, and a pirate who made a name for himself during activities in the Caribbean, primarily raiding Spanish settlements...

 and the most successful Bartholomew Roberts
Bartholomew Roberts
Bartholomew Roberts , born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off America and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy. He is estimated to have captured over 470 vessels...

.
Another famous pirate of this era was Hendrick Lucifer
Hendrick Lucifer
Hendrick Jacobszoon Lucifer was a Dutch-born pirate and brute.Hendrick's last name, Lucifer, referred not to a lighting stick, but to the fallen angel Lucifer, and was most likely used as a nickname due to his use of fire and smoke to surprise enemies.- Greatest success and death :In 1627,...

, who fought for hours to acquire Cuban gold, becoming mortally wounded in the process. He died of his wounds hours after having transferred the booty to his ship.
Most pirates were eventually hunted down by the Royal Navy and killed or captured, several battles
Action of 20 October 1720
The Capture of the William refers to a small single ship action fought between Calico Jack's pirate ship and a British sloop-of-war from Port Royal, Jamaica...

 were fought
Battle of Cape Lopez
The Battle of Cape Lopez was fought in early 1722 during the Golden Age of Piracy. A British man-of-war under Captain Chaloner Ogle defeated the pirate ship of Bartholomew Roberts off the coast of Gabon, West Africa.-Background:...

 between the brigands and the colonial powers on both land and sea.

Piracy in the Caribbean declined for the next several decades after 1730 but by the 1810s many pirates roamed American waters though they were not as bold or successful as the predecessors. Throughout the first quarter of the 19th century, the United States Navy repeatedly engaged pirates in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and in the Mediterranean. Several warships were designed specifically for the task. The most successful pirates of the era were Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte was a pirate and privateer in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. He and his elder brother, Pierre, spelled their last name Laffite, but English-language documents of the time used "Lafitte", and this is the commonly seen spelling in the United States, including for places...

 and Roberto Cofresi
Roberto Cofresí
Roberto Cofresí , better known as "El Pirata Cofresí", was the most renowned pirate in Puerto Rico. He became interested in sailing at a young age. By the time he reached adulthood there were some political and economic difficulties in Puerto Rico, which at the time was a colony of Spain...

. Lafitte's ships primarily operated in the Gulf of Mexico but Cofresi's base was in Puerto Rico where he was considered a type of Robin Hood
Robin Hood
Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes....

 by many Puerto Ricans. Eventually he was defeated by the schooner USS Grampus and captured in 1825. The United States landed shore parties on several islands in the Caribbean in pursuit of pirates, Cuba was a major haven but the 1830s piracy had died out again and the navies of the region focused on the slave trade.

In 1827, Britain declared that participation in the slave trade was piracy, a crime punishable by death. The power of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 was subsequently used to suppress the slave trade, and while some illegal trade, mostly with Brazil and Cuba, continued, the Atlantic slave trade would be eradicated by the middle of the 19th century.

In the 20th Century, one notable pirate active in the Caribbean was Boysie Singh. He operated off northern South America. He and his pirate gang killed several people and plundered their ships from 1947 to 1956.

In North America



Ocean piracy, off the coasts of North America, continued as late as the 1870s. Pirates who operated in the Caribbean often sailed north to attack targets off the present day eastern seaboard of the United States. Possibly the most famous of these was Blackbeard
Blackbeard
Edward Teach , better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies....

, who operated in the American south, attacking ships and at one point even blockading Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

. Later in the 19th century, after the Golden Age of Piracy, Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte was a pirate and privateer in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. He and his elder brother, Pierre, spelled their last name Laffite, but English-language documents of the time used "Lafitte", and this is the commonly seen spelling in the United States, including for places...

 became what is considered by many to be the last buccaneer
Buccaneer
The buccaneers were privateers who attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean Sea during the late 17th century.The term buccaneer is now used generally as a synonym for pirate...

 due to his army of pirates and fleet of pirate ships which held bases in and around the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. Lafitte and his men participated in the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 battle of New Orleans and later his ships fought the United States Navy and the United States Revenue Cutter Service
United States Revenue Cutter Service
The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1790 as an armed maritime law enforcement service. Throughout its entire existence the Revenue Cutter Service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury...

. Eventually, Lafitte was evicted from the area by United States forces after several accidental sinking of U.S ships due to the rest of the crew attacking an american ship, thinking it was an mexican ship, battles and raids
Raid (military)
Raid, also known as depredation, is a military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose and is not normally intended to capture and hold terrain, but instead finish with the raiding force quickly retreating to a previous defended position prior to the enemy forces being...

. Between 1822 and 1825, the American West Indies Squadron
West Indies Squadron (United States)
The West Indies Squadron, or the West Indies Station, was a United States Navy squadron that operated in the West Indies in the early nineteenth century. It was formed due to the need to suppress piracy in the Caribbean Sea, the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico region of the Atlantic Ocean...

 fought against pirates in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

.

By 1830, piracy in the Gulf of Mexico became rare with the exception of slave traders, who were considered pirates. In 1860 during the Reform War
Reform War
The Reform War in Mexico is one of the episodes of the long struggle between Liberal and Conservative forces that dominated the country’s history in the 19th century. The Liberals wanted a federalist government, limiting traditional Catholic Church and military influence in the country...

, the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 fought the Battle of Anton Lizardo
Battle of Anton Lizardo
The Battle of Anton Lizardo was a naval engagement of the Reform War which took place off Anton Lizardo, Mexico in 1860. A Mexican Navy officer named Rear Admiral Tomas M. Marin mutinied from the Mexican fleet and escaped to Havana, Cuba. There he formed a squadron of armed vessels to attack...

 against rebels which were declared pirates by the Mexican government. In 1870, the United States again fought pirates off Mexico during the Battle of Boca Teacapan
Battle of Boca Teacapan
The Battle of Boca Teacapan was the result of a United States Navy boat expedition to destroy a Mexican pirate ship which was attacking targets in the Pacific Ocean. United States sailors and marines in several small boats pursued the pirates to the Boca Teacapan, in Sinaloa and up the Teacapan...

. The pirates had attacked and captured Guaymas, Mexico, looted the foreign residents of their belongings and forced the United States consulate in Guaymas to provide their steamer with coal, after which they sailed for Boca Teacapan
Boca Teacapan
Boca Teacapan is the outlet of the Estero de Teacapán that drains two large coastal lagoons, Agua Grande Lagoon in Sinaloa and Agua Brava Lagoon in Nayarit to the Pacific Ocean...

, Sinaloa
Sinaloa
Sinaloa officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sinaloa is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 18 municipalities and its capital city is Culiacán Rosales....

. A United States Navy expedition under Willard H. Brownson
Willard H. Brownson
Rear Admiral Willard Herbert Brownson, USN was a United States Navy officer whose career included service against pirates in Mexico, and service during the Spanish-American War. He also served a term as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy.-Early Life and Career:A native of Lyons, New...

 was launched, resulting in the destruction of the pirate ship. The invention of steam powered vessels eventually put an end to piracy off North America though some isolated incidents continued to occur into the 1920s.

River piracy, in late 18th-mid-19th century America, was primarily concentrated along the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 and Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 valleys. River pirates usually located their operations in isolated frontier settlements, which were sparsely populated areas lacking the protection of civilized government. They resorted to a variety of tactics, depending on the number of pirates and size of the boat crews involved. They were envolved in river piracy including; deception
Deception
Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, bad faith, and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth . Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment...

, concealment, ambush
Ambush
An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops...

, and assaults in open combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

, near natural obstacles and curiosities, such as shelter caves, islands, river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 narrows
Narrows
Narrows is a term for restricted land or water passages. Most commonly it refers to a strait, though it can also refer to a water gap....

, rapids, swamps, and marshes. River travelers were robbed, captured
Captivity
Captivity or Captive may refer to:*Imprisonment or hostage, the state of being confined to a space from which it is difficult or impossible to escape**Captive company...

, and murdered and their livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, slaves, cargo
Cargo
Cargo is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft, train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal long-haul cargo transport.-Marine:...

, and flatboats, keelboats, and rafts were sunk or sold down river.

After the Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, American river piracy began to take root, in the mid-1780s, along the upper Mississippi River, between Spanish Upper Louisiana
Louisiana (New Spain)
Louisiana was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1764 to 1803 that represented territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans...

, around St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, down to the confluence
Confluence
Confluence, in geography, describes the meeting of two or more bodies of water.Confluence may also refer to:* Confluence , a property of term rewriting systems...

 of the Ohio River, at Cairo
Cairo, Illinois
Cairo is the southernmost city in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the county seat of Alexander County. Cairo is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The rivers converge at Fort Defiance State Park, an American Civil War fort that was commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant...

.

In 1803, at Tower Rock
Grand Tower, Illinois
Grand Tower is a city in Jackson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 624 at the 2000 census. The town gets its name from Tower Rock, a landmark island in the Mississippi River.-Geography:Grand Tower is located at ....

, the U.S. Army dragoons
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

, possibly, from the frontier army post up river at Fort Kaskaskia
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is a 200-acre park near Chester, Illinois, on a blufftop overlooking the Mississippi River. It commemorates the vanished frontier town of Old Kaskaskia and the support it gave to George Rogers Clark in the American Revolution.-An earthen redoubt:The village of...

, on the Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 side opposite St. Louis, raided and drove out the river pirates.

Stack Island
Stack Island (Mississippi River)
Stack Island, also known as Crow's Nest and Island No. 94, is located in Issaquena County, Mississippi, in the Mississippi River, near Lake Providence, Louisiana and nearly 200 miles north of New Orleans.- History :...

 became associated with river pirates and counterfeiters
Counterfeit money
Counterfeit money is currency that is produced without the legal sanction of the state or government to resemble some official form of currency closely enough that it may be confused for genuine currency. Producing or using counterfeit money is a form of fraud or forgery. Counterfeiting is probably...

, starting in the late 1790s. In 1809, the last major river pirate activity, on the Upper Mississippi River, came to an abrupt end, when a group of flatboat
Flatboat
Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with (mostlyNOTE: "(parenthesized)" wordings in the quote below are notes added to...

men, meeting at the head of the Nine Mile Reach, decided to make a raid on Stack Island and wipe out the river pirates. They attacked at night, a battle ensued, and two of the boatmen and several outlaws were killed. The attackers captured 19 other men, a 15-year-old boy and two women. The women and teenager were allowed to leave. The remaining outlaws are presumed to have been executed.

From 1790-1834, Cave-In-Rock
Cave-In-Rock, Illinois
Cave-In-Rock is a village in Hardin County, Illinois, United States. Its principal feature and attraction is a large nearby cave on the banks of the Ohio River. Cave-in-Rock was originally a stronghold for outlaws including; river pirates and highwaymen, Samuel Mason and James Ford, tavern...

 was the principal outlaw
Outlaw
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, this takes the burden of active prosecution of a criminal from the authorities. Instead, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute...

 lair
Lair
Lair may refer to:*An animal's lair or home; see :Category:Shelters built or used by animals*Lair , a 2007 video game*In Scots language, lair refers to a burial-plot in a graveyard...

 and headquarters of river pirate activity in the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 region. The notorious cave, is today, within the peaceful confines of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

' Cave-in-Rock State Park
Cave-in-Rock State Park
Cave-in-Rock State Park is an Illinois state park on in Hardin County, Illinois in the United States. The state park contains the historic Cave-in-Rock, a landmark of the Ohio River...

. In 1797, it was anything but, peaceful, as Samuel Mason
Samuel Mason
Samuel Mason or Meason was a Revolutionary War militia captain on the frontier, who following the war, became the leader of a gang of river pirates and highwaymen on the lower Ohio River and the Mississippi River in the late 18th and early 19th centuries...

, who was initially, a Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 Patriot
Patriot
A patriot is someone who feels a strong support for his or her country. See Patriotism.Patriot or Patriots may also refer to:- Politics :* Patriot Party , various political parties...

 captain in the Ohio County, Virginia
Ohio County, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 47,427 people, 19,733 households, and 12,155 families residing in the county. The population density was 447 people per square mile . There were 22,166 housing units at an average density of 209 per square mile...

 militia
Militia (United States)
The role of militia, also known as military service and duty, in the United States is complex and has transformed over time.Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Page 36. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. " The term militia can be used to describe any number of groups within the...

 and a former associate judge
Judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

 and squire
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

 in Kentucky, led a gang of highway robbers
Highwayman
A highwayman was a thief and brigand who preyed on travellers. This type of outlaw, usually, travelled and robbed by horse, as compared to a footpad who traveled and robbed on foot. Mounted robbers were widely considered to be socially superior to footpads...

 and river pirates on the Ohio River. Mason started his criminal organization in Red Banks
Henderson, Kentucky
Henderson is a city in Henderson County, Kentucky, United States, along the Ohio River in the western part of the state. The population was 27,952 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Evansville Metropolitan Area often referred to as "Kentuckiana", although "Tri-State Area" or "Tri-State" are more...

 and was driven out by regulators
Vigilante
A vigilante is a private individual who legally or illegally punishes an alleged lawbreaker, or participates in a group which metes out extralegal punishment to an alleged lawbreaker....

, sweeping through western Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and first set up his new operation at Diamond Island
Diamond Island (Kentucky)
Diamond Island is an island in the Ohio River. It has an area of about one half square mile. It is ten miles west of Henderson, Kentucky in Henderson County, Kentucky...

, followed by Cave-In-Rock, and later, along the Mississippi River, from Stack Island to Natchez
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez is the county seat of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. With a total population of 18,464 , it is the largest community and the only incorporated municipality within Adams County...

.

During Samuel Mason's 1797-1799 occupation of Cave-In-Rock and after his departure, the name of Bully Wilson became associated with cave; a large sign was erected near the natural landmark
Landmark
This is a list of landmarks around the world.Landmarks may be split into two categories - natural phenomena and man-made features, like buildings, bridges, statues, public squares and so forth...

's entrance, "Liquor Vault and House for Entertainment." Wilson may have been an alias for Mason, a front man for his criminal operation, or another outlaw leader who ran a gang of pirates in the region. The Harpe Brothers
Harpe Brothers
Micajah "Big" Harpe and Wiley "Little" Harpe , pronounced and , were murderers, highwaymen, and river pirates, who operated in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Mississippi in the late 18th century...

 who were allegedly America's first serial killers, were highwaymen, on the run from the law in Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 and Kentucky and briefly, joined Samuel Mason's gang at Cave-In-Rock. Peter Alston
Peter Alston
Peter Alston was the late 18th Century and early 19th Century counterfeiter and river pirate, who is believed to be Little Harpe's associate and partner in the murder of notorious outlaw leader Samuel Mason in 1803. He was the son of the colonial-era counterfeiter Philip Alston associated with...

, the son of American counterfeiter, Philip Alston
Philip Alston (counterfeiter)
Philip Alston was an 18th century counterfeiter both before and after the American Revolution in Virginia and the Carolinas before the war, and later in Kentucky and Illinois afterwards...

 who through his father, became a river pirate and highwayman
Highwayman
A highwayman was a thief and brigand who preyed on travellers. This type of outlaw, usually, travelled and robbed by horse, as compared to a footpad who traveled and robbed on foot. Mounted robbers were widely considered to be socially superior to footpads...

 at Cave-In-Rock and made the acquaintance of Samuel Mason and Wiley Harpe
Harpe Brothers
Micajah "Big" Harpe and Wiley "Little" Harpe , pronounced and , were murderers, highwaymen, and river pirates, who operated in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Mississippi in the late 18th century...

, following them to Stack Island and Natchez. Around the late 18th century to early 19th century, on the Illinois side of the Ohio River, north of Cave-In-Rock, Jonathan Brown
Jonathan Brown
Jonathan Brown is an Australian rules footballer playing for the Brisbane Lions in the Australian Football League. Widely regarded as one of the premier players in the competition, Brown is a three-time club best and fairest winner, two time All Australian , one time Coleman Medallist and three...

 led a small gang of river pirates at Battery Rock
River to River Trail
The River to River Trail is a 160 mile -long hiking trail that serves Shawnee National Forest in far southern Illinois. Its eastern end is on Battery Rock, overlooking the Ohio River, and its western end is at Grand Tower, Illinois, at the Mississippi River...

.

The lower Ohio River country was routinely, patrolled by the Legion of the United States
Legion of the United States
The Legion of the United States was a reorganization and extension of the United States Army from 1792 to 1796 under the command of Major General Anthony Wayne.-Origins:The impetus for the Legion came from General Arthur St...

 and U.S. Army troops, garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

ed at Fort Massac
Fort Massac
Fort Massac is a colonial and early National-era fort on the Ohio River in Massac County, Illinois, United States.Legend has it that, as early as 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his soldiers constructed a primitive fortification here to defend themselves from native attack...

, as constabulary
Constabulary
Constabulary may have several definitions.*A civil, non-paramilitary force consisting of police officers called constables. This is the usual definition in Britain, in which all county police forces once bore the title...

 against Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, colonial
Colonial troops
Colonial troops or colonial army refers to various military units recruited from, or used as garrison troops in, colonial territories.- Colonial background :...

 raiders from Spanish Upper Louisiana Territory
Louisiana (New Spain)
Louisiana was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1764 to 1803 that represented territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans...

, and river outlaws in the region.

Between 1800? and 1820?, the legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

ary Colonel Plug also, known as Col. Plug or Colonel Fluger, ran a gang of river pirates on the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

, in a cypress
Cypress
Cypress is the name applied to many plants in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is a conifer of northern temperate regions. Most cypress species are trees, while a few are shrubs...

 swamp
Swamp
A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

, near the mouth of the Cache River
Cache River (Illinois)
The Cache River is a waterway in southernmost Illinois, in a region sometimes called Little Egypt. The basin spans and six counties: Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union. Located at the convergence of four major physiographic regions, the river is part of the largest complex of...

, which was below Cave-In-Rock and Fort Massac
Fort Massac
Fort Massac is a colonial and early National-era fort on the Ohio River in Massac County, Illinois, United States.Legend has it that, as early as 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his soldiers constructed a primitive fortification here to defend themselves from native attack...

 and just above the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Plug's tactics were to sneak aboard, personally, or have one of his pirates, secretly, go into the hull
Hull (watercraft)
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...

 of a boat and either, dig out the caulking
Caulking
Caulking is one of several different processes to seal joints or seams in various structures and certain types of piping. The oldest form of caulking is used to make the seams in wooden boats or ships watertight, by driving fibrous materials into the wedge-shaped seams between planks...

 between the floor
Floor
A floor is the walking surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces using modern technology...

 planks
Plank (wood)
A plank is a piece of timber, flat, elongated and rectangular, with parallel faces, higher or longer than wide, used in the construction of ships, houses, bridges, etc......

 or drill holes with an auger
Auger
An auger is a drilling device, or drill bit, that usually includes a rotating helical screw blade called a "flighting" to act as a screw conveyor to remove the drilled out material...

, causing the boat to sink and be easily attacked. The boat and the cargo would later be sold down river. Little is known about Colonel Plug except, from the folklorish
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 descriptions provided in 1830 by Timothy Flint's "Col. Plug, the last of the Boat-wreckers," in The Western Monthly Review and "The Boat-Wreckers—Or Banditti of the West," in the Rochester, New York
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

, Daily Advertiser, Jan. 29, 1830. Fluger claimed to have been a Yankee
Yankee
The term Yankee has several interrelated and often pejorative meanings, usually referring to people originating in the northeastern United States, or still more narrowly New England, where application of the term is largely restricted to descendants of the English settlers of the region.The...

 native
Native-born citizen
In general, a native-born citizen of a country is a person who was born within the country's territory and has been legally recognized as a citizen of that country since birth...

 of Rockingham County, New Hampshire
Rockingham County, New Hampshire
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 277,359 people, 104,529 households, and 74,320 families residing in the county. The population density was 399 people per square mile . There were 113,023 housing units at an average density of 163 per square mile...

 and was a former militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 colonel
Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, colonel is a senior field grade military officer rank just above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general...

. No historical evidence exists to justify this, as no Fluger surname can be found in the New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

 U.S. census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 records or the Rockingham County military muster rolls.

James Ford
James Ford (pirate)
James Ford was an American civic leader and business owner in western Kentucky and southern Illinois at the turn of the 19th century. Despite his clean public image, as a "Pillar of the Community", he was also, secretly, a river pirate and the leader of a gang that would come to be known as...

, an American Ohio River civic
Civics
Civics is the study of rights and duties of citizenship. In other words, it is the study of government with attention to the role of citizens ― as opposed to external factors ― in the operation and oversight of government....

 leader and businessman, secretly, led a gang of river pirates and highwaymen, from the 1820s to the mid-1830s, on the Ohio River, in Illinois and Kentucky.

River piracy continued on the lower Mississippi River, from the early 1800s to the mid 1830's, these river pirates were mainly, organized into large gangs similar to Samuel Mason's organization around Cave-In-Rock or smaller gangs under the operation of John A. Murrell
John Murrell (bandit)
John A. Murrell , a near-legendary bandit operating in the United States along the Mississippi River in the mid-nineteenth century...

, which also, existed, from the 1820s to the mid-1830s, between Stack Island and Natchez, in the state of Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

.

The decline of river piracy occurred, over time, as a result of direct military action taken and the combined strength of local law enforcement
Law enforcement
Law enforcement broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to promote adherence to the law by discovering and punishing persons who violate the rules and norms governing that society...

 and regulator-vigilante
Vigilante
A vigilante is a private individual who legally or illegally punishes an alleged lawbreaker, or participates in a group which metes out extralegal punishment to an alleged lawbreaker....

 groups, that uprooted and swept out pockets of outlaw
Outlaw
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, this takes the burden of active prosecution of a criminal from the authorities. Instead, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute...

 resistance.

Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 piracy
occurred, from 1900–1930, on Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

, through the exploits of "Roaring" Dan Seavey
Dan Seavey
Dan Seavey, also known as Roaring Dan Seavey, was a notorious pirate on the Great Lakes in the early 20th century.-Early life:...

.

Popular image



In the popular modern imagination, pirates of the classical period were rebellious, clever teams who operated outside the restricting bureaucracy
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

 of modern life. Pirates were also depicted as always raising their Jolly Roger
Jolly Roger
The Jolly Roger is any of various flags flown to identify a ship's crew as pirates. The flag most commonly identified as the Jolly Roger today is the skull and crossbones, a flag consisting of a human skull above two long bones set in an x-mark arrangement on a black field. This design was used by...

 flag when preparing to hijack a vessel. The Jolly Roger is the traditional name for the flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

s of European and American pirates and a symbol for piracy that has been adopted by film-makers and toy manufacturers.

Pirate democracy


Unlike traditional Western societies of the time, many Caribbean pirate crews of European descent operated as limited democracies
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. Pirate communities were some of the first to instate a system of checks and balances similar to the one used by the present-day United States and many other countries. The first record of such a government aboard a pirate sloop dates to the 17th century.

Both the captain and the quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

 were elected by the crew; they, in turn, appointed the other ship's officers. The captain of a pirate ship was often a fierce fighter in whom the men could place their trust, rather than a more traditional authority figure sanctioned by an elite. However, when not in battle, the quartermaster usually had the real authority. Many groups of pirates shared in whatever they seized; pirates injured in battle might be afforded special compensation similar to medical or disability insurance.

There are contemporary records that many pirates placed a portion of any captured money into a central fund that was used to compensate the injuries sustained by the crew. Lists show standardised payments of 600 pieces of eight ($156,000 in modern currency) for the loss of a leg down to 100 pieces ($26,800) for loss of an eye. Often all of these terms were agreed upon and written down by the pirates, but these articles
Pirate code of the Brethren
A pirate code was a code of conduct invented for governing pirates, and first introduced by the Portuguese buccaneer, Bartolomeu Português. Generally each pirate crew had its own code or articles, which provided rules for discipline, division of stolen goods, and compensation for injured...

 could also be used as incriminating proof that they were outlaws.

Treasure



Even though pirates raided many ships, few, if any, buried their treasure. Often, the "treasure" that was stolen was food, water, alcohol, weapons, or clothing. Other things they stole were household items like bits of soap and gear like rope and anchors, or sometimes they would keep the ship they captured (either to sell off or keep because it was better than their ship). Such items were likely to be needed immediately, rather than saved for future trade. For this reason, there was no reason for the pirates to bury these goods. Pirates tended to kill few people aboard the ships they captured; usually they would kill no one if the ship surrendered because, if it became known that pirates took no prisoners, their victims would fight to the last and make victory both very difficult and costly in lives. In contrast, ships would quickly surrender if they knew they would be spared. In one well-documented case 300 heavily armed soldiers on a ship attacked by Thomas Tew
Thomas Tew
Thomas Tew , also known as the Rhode Island Pirate, was a 17th century English privateer-turned-pirate. Although he embarked on only two major piratical voyages, and met a bloody death on the latter journey, Tew pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. Many other famous pirates,...

 surrendered after a brief battle with none of Tew's 40-man crew being injured.

Rewards


Pirates had a system of hierarchy on board their ships determining how captured money was distributed. However, pirates were more "egalitarian" than any other area of employment at the time. In fact pirate quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

s were a counterbalance to the captain and had the power to veto his orders. The majority of plunder was in the form of cargo and ship's equipment with medicines the most highly prized. A vessel's doctor's chest would be worth anywhere from £300 to £400, or around $470,000 in today's values. Jewels were common plunder but not popular as they were hard to sell, and pirates, unlike the public of today, had little concept of their value. There is one case recorded where a pirate was given a large diamond worth a great deal more than the value of the handful of small diamonds given his crewmates as a share. He felt cheated and had it broken up to match what they received.


Spanish pieces of eight
Spanish dollar
The Spanish dollar is a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. Its purpose was to correspond to the German thaler...

 minted in Mexico or Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 were the standard trade currency in the American colonies. However, every colony still used the monetary units of pounds, shillings and pence for bookkeeping while Spanish, German, French and Portuguese money were all standard mediums of exchange as British law prohibited the export of British silver coinage. Until the exchange rates were standardised in the late 18th century each colony legislated its own different exchange rates. In England, 1 piece of eight was worth 4s 3d while it was worth 8s in New York, 7s 6d in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 and 6s 8d in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. One 18th century English shilling was worth around $58 in modern currency so a piece of eight could be worth anywhere from $246 to $465. As such, the value of pirate plunder could vary considerably depending on who recorded it and where.

Ordinary seamen received a part of the plunder at the captain's discretion but usually a single share. On average, a pirate could expect the equivalent of a year's wages as his share from each ship captured while the crew of the most successful pirates would often each receive a share valued at around £1,000 ($1.17 million) at least once in their career. One of the larger amounts taken from a single ship was that by captain Thomas Tew
Thomas Tew
Thomas Tew , also known as the Rhode Island Pirate, was a 17th century English privateer-turned-pirate. Although he embarked on only two major piratical voyages, and met a bloody death on the latter journey, Tew pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. Many other famous pirates,...

 from an Indian merchantman in 1692. Each ordinary seaman on his ship received a share worth £3,000 ($3.5 million) with officers receiving proportionally larger amounts as per the agreed shares with Tew himself receiving 2½ shares. It is known there were actions with multiple ships captured where a single share was worth almost double this.

By contrast, an ordinary seamen in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 received 19s per month to be paid in a lump sum at the end of a tour of duty which was around half the rate paid in the Merchant Navy
Merchant Navy
The Merchant Navy is the maritime register of the United Kingdom, and describes the seagoing commercial interests of UK-registered ships and their crews. Merchant Navy vessels fly the Red Ensign and are regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency...

. However, corrupt officers would often "tax" their crews' wage to supplement their own and the Royal Navy of the day was infamous for its reluctance to pay. From this wage, 6d per month was deducted for the maintenance of Greenwich Hospital with similar amounts deducted for the Chatham Chest
Chatham Chest
The Chatham Chest was a fund set up around 1590 to pay pensions to disabled seamen. It was financed by members' contributions which were deducted from their pay, and has therefore been described as the world's first occupational pension scheme. The assets of the scheme were held in an actual chest...

, the chaplain and surgeon
Surgeon
In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

. Six months' pay was withheld to discourage desertion. That this was insufficient incentive is revealed in a report on proposed changes to the RN Admiral Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

 wrote in 1803; he noted that since 1793 more than 42,000 sailors had deserted. Roughly half of all RN crews were pressganged
Impressment
Impressment, colloquially, "the Press", was the act of taking men into a navy by force and without notice. It was used by the Royal Navy, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries, in wartime, as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice goes back to...

 and these not only received lower wages than volunteers but were shackled while the vessel was docked and were never permitted to go ashore until released from service.

Although the Royal Navy suffered from many morale issues, it answered the question of prize money via the 'Cruizers and Convoys' Act of 1708 which handed over the share previously gained by the Crown to the captors of the ship. Technically it was still possible for the Crown to get the money or a portion of it but this rarely happened. The process of condemnation of a captured vessel and its cargo and men was given to the High Court of the Admiralty and this was the process which remained in force with minor changes throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

The share-out of prize-money is given below in its pre-1808 state.
Ship Prize Shares
Rank Pre 1808 Post 1808
Captain
Captain (naval)
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The NATO rank code is OF-5, equivalent to an army full colonel....

3/8 2/8
Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 of fleet
1/8 1/8
Sailing Master
& Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

s
& Captain
Captain (OF-2)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery...

 of Marine
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

s
1/8 1/8
Warrant Officers 1/8 1/8
Wardroom Warrant officers
& Petty Officers
1/8 1/8
Gunner
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

s, Sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

s
1/8 2/8


Even the flag officer's share was not quite straightforward; he would only get the full one-eighth if he had no junior flag officer beneath him. If this was the case then he would get a third share. If he had more than one then he would take one half while the rest was shared out equally.

There was a great deal of money to be made in this way. The record breaker, admittedly before our wars, was the capture of the Spanish frigate the Hermione, which was carrying treasure in 1762. The value of this was so great that each individual seaman netted £485 ($1.4 million in 2008 dollars). The two captains responsible, Evans and Pownall, got just on £65,000 each ($188.4 million). In January 1807 the frigate Caroline took the Spanish San Rafael which brought in £52,000 for her captain, Peter Rainier (who had been only a Midshipman some thirteen months before). All through the wars there are examples of this kind of luck falling on captains. Another famous 'capture' was that of the Spanish frigates Thetis and Santa Brigada which were loaded with gold specie
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

. They were taken by four British frigates who shared the money, each captain receiving £40,730. Each lieutenant got £5,091, the Warrant Officer group, £2,468, the midshipmen £791 and the individual seamen £182.

It should also be noted that it was usually only the frigates which took prizes; the ships of the line were far too ponderous to be able to chase and capture the smaller ships which generally carried treasure. Nelson always bemoaned that he had done badly out of prize money and even as a flag officer received little. This was not that he had a bad command of captains but rather that British mastery of the seas was so complete that few enemy ships dared to sail.

Comparison chart using the share distribution known for three pirates against the shares for a Privateer and wages as paid by the Royal Navy.
Rank Bartholomew Roberts George Lowther
George Lowther (pirate)
George Lowther was an 18th century English pirate who, although little is known of his life, was active in the Caribbean and Atlantic...

William Phillips Privateer
(Sir William Monson)
Royal Navy
(per month)
Captain
Captain (naval)
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The NATO rank code is OF-5, equivalent to an army full colonel....

2 shares 2 shares 1.5 shares 10 shares £8, 8s
Master
Master-at-arms
A master-at-arms may be a naval rating responsible for discipline and law enforcement, an army officer responsible for physical training, or a member of the crew of a merchant ship responsible for security and law enforcement.-Royal Navy:The master-at-arms is a ship's senior rating, comparable in...

1.5 shares 1.5 shares 1.25 shares 7 or 8 shares £4
Boatswain
Boatswain
A boatswain , bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The boatswain supervises the other unlicensed members of the ship's deck department, and typically is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews...

1.5 shares 1.25 shares 1.25 shares 5 shares £2
Gunner
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

1.5 shares 1.25 shares 1.25 shares 5 shares £2
Quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

2 shares 4 shares £1, 6s
Carpenter
Carpenter
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

1.25 shares 5 shares £2
Mate
Sub-Lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant is a military rank. It is normally a junior officer rank.In many navies, a sub-lieutenant is a naval commissioned or subordinate officer, ranking below a lieutenant. In the Royal Navy the rank of sub-lieutenant is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant in the British Army and of...

1.25 shares 5 shares £2, 2s
Doctor 1.25 shares 5 shares £5 +2d per man aboard
"Other Officers" 1¼ shares various rates various rates
Able Seamen
Able seaman
An able seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles.-Watchstander:...

 (2 yrs experience)
Ordinary Seamen (some exp)
Landsmen
Landman (rank)
Landman was a military rank given to naval recruits.-United Kingdom:In the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom in the middle of the 18th century , the term Landman referred to a seaman with less than a year's experience at sea...

 (pressganged)

1 share

1 share

1 share
22s
19s
11s

Punishment



During the 17th and 18th centuries, once pirates were caught, justice was meted out in a summary fashion, and many ended their lives by "dancing the hempen jig", or hanging at the end of a rope
Hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

. Public execution was a form of entertainment at the time, and people came out to watch them as they would to a sporting event today. Newspapers were glad to report every detail, such as recording the condemned men's last words, the prayers said by the priests for their immortal souls, and their final agonising moments on the gallows. In England most of these executions took place at Execution Dock
Execution Dock
Execution Dock was used for more than 400 years in London to execute pirates, smugglers and mutineers that had been sentenced to death by Admiralty courts. The "dock", which consisted of a scaffold for hanging, was located near the shoreline of the River Thames at Wapping...

 on the River Thames in London.

In the cases of more famous prisoners, usually captains, their punishments extended beyond death. Their bodies were enclosed in iron cages
Gibbet
A gibbet is a gallows-type structure from which the dead bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals. In earlier times, up to the late 17th century, live gibbeting also took place, in which the criminal was placed alive in a metal cage...

 (for which they were measured before their execution) and left to swing in the air until the flesh rotted off them- a process that could take as long as two years. The bodies of captains such as William Kidd, Charles Vane, William Fly, and Jack Rackham were all treated this way.

Privateers




A privateer or corsair
Corsair
Corsairs were privateers, authorized to conduct raids on shipping of a nation at war with France, on behalf of the French Crown. Seized vessels and cargo were sold at auction, with the corsair captain entitled to a portion of the proceeds...

 used similar methods to a pirate, but acted while in possession of a commission or letter of marque
Letter of marque
In the days of fighting sail, a Letter of Marque and Reprisal was a government licence authorizing a person to attack and capture enemy vessels, and bring them before admiralty courts for condemnation and sale...

 from a government or monarch authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation. For example, the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 of 1787 specifically authorized Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 to issue letters of marque and reprisal. The letter of marque was recognized by international convention and meant that a privateer could not technically be charged with piracy while attacking the targets named in his commission. This nicety of law did not always save the individuals concerned, however, as whether one was considered a pirate or a legally operating privateer often depended on whose custody the individual found himself in—that of the country that had issued the commission, or that of the object of attack. Spanish authorities were known to execute foreign privateers with their letters of marque hung around their necks to emphasize Spain's rejection of such defenses. Furthermore, many privateers exceeded the bounds of their letters of marque by attacking nations with which their sovereign was at peace (Thomas Tew
Thomas Tew
Thomas Tew , also known as the Rhode Island Pirate, was a 17th century English privateer-turned-pirate. Although he embarked on only two major piratical voyages, and met a bloody death on the latter journey, Tew pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. Many other famous pirates,...

 and William Kidd
William Kidd
William "Captain" Kidd was a Scottish sailor remembered for his trial and execution for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer...

 are notable examples), and thus made themselves liable to conviction for piracy. However, a letter of marque did provide some cover for such pirates, as plunder seized from neutral or friendly shipping could be passed off later as taken from enemy merchants.

The famous Barbary Corsairs (authorized by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

) of the Mediterranean were privateers, as were the Maltese Corsairs, who were authorized by the Knights of St. John
Knights Hospitaller
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

, and the Dunkirkers
Dunkirkers
During the Dutch Revolt the Dunkirkers or Dunkirk Privateers, were commerce raiders in the service of the Spanish Monarchy. They were also part of the Dunkirk fleet, which consequently was a part of the Spanish Monarchy's Flemish fleet ...

 in the service of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. In the years 1626–1634 alone, the Dunkirk privateers captured 1,499 ships, and sank another 336. From 1609 to 1616, England lost 466 merchant ships to Barbary pirates, and 160 British ships were captured by Algerians between 1677 and 1680. One famous privateer was Sir Francis Drake. His patron was Queen Elizabeth I, and their relationship ultimately proved to be quite profitable for England.

Privateers were a large proportion of the total military force at sea during the 17th and 18th centuries. During the Nine Years War, the French adopted a policy of strongly encouraging privateers, including the famous Jean Bart
Jean Bart
Jean Bart was a Flemish sailor who primarily served the French crown as naval commander and privateer.-Early life:...

, to attack English and Dutch shipping. England lost roughly 4,000 merchant ships during the war. In the following War of Spanish Succession, privateer attacks continued, Britain losing 3,250 merchant ships. During the War of Austrian Succession, Britain lost 3,238 merchant ships and France lost 3,434 merchant ships to the British.

During King George's War
King George's War
King George's War is the name given to the operations in North America that formed part of the War of the Austrian Succession . It was the third of the four French and Indian Wars. It took place primarily in the British provinces of New York, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, and Nova Scotia...

, approximately 36,000 Americans served aboard privateers at one time or another. During the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, about 55,000 American seamen served aboard the privateers. The American privateers had almost 1,700 ships, and they captured 2,283 enemy ships. Between the end of the Revolutionary War and 1812, less than 30 years, Britain, France, Naples, the Barbary States, Spain, and the Netherlands seized approximately 2,500 American ships. Payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states amounted to 20% of United States government annual revenues in 1800. Throughout the American Civil War, Confederate privateer
Confederate privateer
The Confederate privateers were privately owned ships that were authorized by the government of the Confederate States of America to attack the shipping of the United States...

s successfully harassed Union merchant ships.

Privateering lost international sanction under the Declaration of Paris in 1856.

Overview


Seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue (with estimated worldwide losses of US$13 to $16 billion per year), particularly in the waters between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, off the Somali coast, and also in the Strait of Malacca
Strait of Malacca
The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the archipelago between 1414 to 1511.-Extent:...

 and Singapore, which are used by over 50,000 commercial ships a year. A recent surge in piracy off the Somali coast spurred a multi-national effort led by the United States to patrol the waters near the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

.

Modern pirates favor small boats and taking advantage of the small number of crew members on modern cargo vessels. They also use large vessels to supply the smaller attack/boarding vessels. Modern pirates can be successful because a large amount of international commerce occurs via shipping. Major shipping routes take cargo ships through narrow bodies of water (such as the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

 and the Strait of Malacca
Strait of Malacca
The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the archipelago between 1414 to 1511.-Extent:...

) making them vulnerable to be overtaken and boarded by small motorboat
Motorboat
A motorboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.An inboard/outboard contains a hybrid of a...

s. Other active areas include the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 and the Niger Delta
Niger Delta
The Niger Delta, the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, is a densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil...

. As usage increases, many of these ships have to lower cruising speeds to allow for navigation and traffic control, making them prime targets for piracy.

Also, pirates often operate in regions of developing or struggling countries with smaller navies and large trade routes. Pirates sometimes evade capture by sailing into waters controlled by their pursuer's enemies. With the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, navies have decreased size and patrol, and trade has increased, making organized piracy far easier. Modern pirates are sometimes linked with organized-crime syndicates, but often are parts of small individual groups.

The International Maritime Bureau
International Maritime Bureau
The International Maritime Bureau is a specialized department of the International Chamber of Commerce.The IMB's responsibilities lie in fighting crimes related to maritime trade and transportation, particularly piracy and commercial fraud, and in protecting the crews of ocean-going vessels.It...

 (IMB) maintains statistics regarding pirate attacks dating back to 1995. Their records indicate hostage-taking overwhelmingly dominates the types of violence against seafarers. For example in 2006, there were 239 attacks, 77 crew members were kidnapped and 188 taken hostage but only 15 of the pirate attacks resulted in murder. In 2007 the attacks rose by 10% to 263 attacks. There was a 35% increase on reported attacks involving guns. Crew members that were injured numbered 64 compared to just 17 in 2006. That number does not include hostages/kidnapping where they were not injured.

The number of attacks within the first nine months of 2009 already surpassed the previous year's due to the increased pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia. Between January and September the number of attacks rose to 306 from 293. The pirates boarded the vessels in 114 cases and hijacked 34 of them so far in 2009. Gun use in pirate attacks has gone up to 176 cases from 76 last year.

In some cases, modern pirates are not interested in the cargo but instead in taking the personal belongings of the crew and the contents of the ship's safe, which might contain large amounts of cash needed for payroll and port fees. In other cases, the pirates force the crew off the ship and then sail it to a port to be repainted and given a new identity through false papers often purchased from corrupt or complicit officials.

Modern piracy can also take place in conditions of political unrest. For example, following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, Thai piracy was aimed at the many Vietnamese who took to boats to escape. Further, following the disintegration of the government of Somalia, warlord
Warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...

s in the region have attacked ships delivering UN food aid.

Environmental action groups such as Sea Shepherd
Sea Shepherd
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a non-profit, marine conservation organization based in Friday Harbor, Washington in the United States. The group uses direct action tactics to protect sealife...

 have been accused of engaging in piracy and terrorism, when they ram and throw butyric acid
Butyric acid
Butyric acid , also known under the systematic name butanoic acid, is a carboxylic acid with the structural formula CH3CH2CH2-COOH. Salts and esters of butyric acid are known as butyrates or butanoates...

 on the decks of ships engaged in commercial fishing
Commercial fishing
Commercial fishing is the activity of catching fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the world, but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions...

, shark
Shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

 poaching and finning
Shark finning
Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins and the discarding of the rest of the fish. Shark finning takes place at sea so the fishers only have to transport the fins.Shark finning is widespread, and largely unmanaged and unmonitored...

, seal hunting
Seal hunting
Seal hunting, or sealing, is the personal or commercial hunting of seals. The hunt is currently practiced in five countries: Canada, where most of the world's seal hunting takes place, Namibia, the Danish region of Greenland, Norway and Russia...

, and whaling
Whaling
Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales...

. In two instances they boarded a Japanese whaling vessel. While non-lethal weapons are used by the Sea Shepherd ships, their tactics and methods are considered acts of piracy by some.

The attack against the U.S. cruise ship the Seabourn Spirit offshore of Somalia in November 2005 is an example of the sophisticated pirates mariners face. The pirates carried out their attack more than 100 miles (160.9 km) offshore with speedboats launched from a larger mother ship. The attackers were armed with automatic firearms and an RPG.

Many nations forbid ships to enter their territorial waters or ports if the crew of the ships are armed, in an effort to restrict possible piracy. Shipping companies sometimes hire private armed security guard
Security guard
A security guard is a person who is paid to protect property, assets, or people. Security guards are usually privately and formally employed personnel...

s.

Modern definitions of piracy include the following acts:
  • Boarding
    Boarding (attack)
    Boarding, in its simplest sense, refers to the insertion on to a ship's deck of individuals. However, when it is classified as an attack, in most contexts, it refers to the forcible insertion of personnel that are not members of the crew by another party without the consent of the captain or crew...

  • Extortion
    Extortion
    Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

  • Hostage taking
  • Kidnapping
    Kidnapping
    In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

     of people for ransom
    Ransom
    Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it can refer to the sum of money involved.In an early German law, a similar concept was called bad influence...

  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Sabotage
    Sabotage
    Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is...

     resulting in the ship subsequently sinking
  • Seizure of items or the ship
  • Shipwreck
    Shipwreck
    A shipwreck is what remains of a ship that has wrecked, either sunk or beached. Whatever the cause, a sunken ship or a wrecked ship is a physical example of the event: this explains why the two concepts are often overlapping in English....

    ing done intentionally to a ship


For the United States, piracy is one of the offenses against which Congress is delegated power to enact penal legislation by the Constitution of the United States, along with treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 and offenses against the law of nations. Treason is generally making war against one's own countrymen, and violations of the law of nations can include unjust war
Just War
Just war theory is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.-Origins:The concept of justification for...

 among other nationals or by governments against their own people.

In modern times, ships and airplanes are hijacked
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

 for political reasons as well. The perpetrators of these acts could be described as pirates (for instance, the French for plane hijacker is pirate de l'air, literally air pirate), but in English are usually termed hijackers. An example is the hijacking of the Italian civilian passenger ship Achille Lauro
MS Achille Lauro
MS Achille Lauro was a cruise ship based in Naples, Italy. Built between 1939 and 1947 as MS Willem Ruys, a passenger liner for the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. It is most remembered for its 1985 hijacking...

in 1985, which is generally regarded as an act of piracy.

Modern pirates also use a great deal of technology. It has been reported that crimes of piracy have involved the use of mobile phones, satellite phone
Satellite phone
A satellite telephone, satellite phone, or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites...

s, GPS
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

, Sonar
Sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

 systems, modern speedboats, assault rifle
Assault rifle
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

s, shotgun
Shotgun
A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug...

s, pistol
Pistol
When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

s, mounted machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s, and even RPGs and grenade launcher
Grenade launcher
A grenade launcher or grenade discharger is a weapon that launches a grenade with more accuracy, higher velocity, and to greater distances than a soldier could throw it by hand....

s.

Pirate Economics


A 2011 report published by Geopolicity Inc called The Economics of Piracy, investigated the causes and consequences of international piracy, with a particular focus on piracy emanating from Somalia. The report asserts that piracy is an emerging market in its own right, valued at between US$4.9–8.3 billion in 2010 alone, and it establishes, for the first time, an economic model for assessing the costs and benefits of international piracy. This model provides a comprehensive, independent framework of trend analysis, whilst also highlighting where the greatest rates of return on international counter pirate investment and policy are to be found across what Geopolicity term the ‘Pirate Value Chain.’ The report states that the number of pirates could double by 2016, increasing by 400 each year. This is being fuelled by attractive financial incentives with Somali pirates earning up to US$79,000/year; equating to almost 150 times their country’s national average wage.

Recent incidents



  • During the Troubles
    The Troubles
    The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

     in Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

    , two coaster ships were hijacked and sunk by the IRA
    Provisional Irish Republican Army
    The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

     in the span of one year, between February 1981 and February 1982.
  • A collision between the container ship Ocean Blessing and the hijacked tanker Nagasaki Spirit occurred in the Malacca Straits at about 23:20 on September 19, 1992. Pirates had boarded the Nagasaki Spirit, removed its captain from command, set the ship on autopilot and left with the ship's master for a ransom. The ship was left going at full speed with no one at the wheel. The collision and resulting fire took the lives of all the sailors of Ocean Blessing; from Nagasaki Spirit there were only 2 survivors. The fire on the Nagasaki Spirit lasted for six days; the fire aboard the Ocean Blessing burned for six weeks.
  • The cargo ship Chang Song boarded and taken over by pirates posing as customs officials in the South China Sea in 1998. Entire crew of 23 was killed and their bodies thrown overboard. Six bodies were eventually recovered in fishing nets. A crackdown by the Chinese government resulted in the arrest of 38 pirates and the group's leader, a corrupt customs official, and 11 other pirates who were then executed.
  • The New Zealand environmentalist, yachtsman and public figure Sir Peter Blake
    Peter Blake (yachtsman)
    Sir Peter James Blake, KBE was a New Zealand yachtsman who won the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Jules Verne Trophy – setting the fastest time around the world of 74 days 22 hours 17 minutes 22 seconds on catamaran Enza, and led his country to successive victories in the America’s Cup...

     was killed by Brazilian pirates in 2001.
  • Pirates boarded the supertanker Dewi Madrim in March 2003 in the Malacca Strait. Articles like those written by the Economist indicate the pirates did not focus on robbing the crew or cargo, but instead focused on learning how to steer the ship and stole only manuals and technical information. However, the original incident report submitted to the IMO by the IMB would indicate these articles are incorrect and misleading. See also: Letter to the Editor of Foreign Affairs.
  • The American luxury liner The Seabourn Spirit was attacked by pirates in November 2005 off the Somalian coast. There was one injury to a crewmember; he was hit by shrapnel.
  • Pirates boarded
    June 3, 2007 incident off Somalia
    The Action of 3 June 2007 occurred after a United States Navy dock landing ship attacked pirates hijacking a freighter.- Background :The rise of the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia had stopped the spread of piracy in the region with its following of strict Islamic law punishing pirates harshly...

     the Danish bulk carrier Danica White in June 2007 near the coast of Somalia. USS Carter Hall
    USS Carter Hall (LSD-50)
    USS Carter Hall is a Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was the second Navy ship to be named for Carter Hall, an estate near Winchester, Virginia, built in the 1790s....

    tried to rescue the crew by firing several warning shots but wasn't able to follow the ship into Somali waters.
  • In April 2008, pirates seized control of the French luxury yacht Le Ponant
    Le Ponant
    Le Ponant is a three-masted, commercially operated French luxury yacht owned by CMA CGM and operated under their Compagnie du Ponant brand. The ship carries up to 67 passengers in 32 cabins...

    carrying 30 crew members off the coast of Somalia. The captives were released on payment of a ransom. The French military later captured some of the pirates, with the support of the provisional Somali government. On June 2, 2008, the UN Security Council passed a resolution enabling the patrolling of Somali waters following this and other incidents. The Security Council resolution provided permission for six months to states cooperating with Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to enter the country's territorial waters and use "all necessary means" to stop "piracy and armed robbery at sea, in a manner consistent with international law."
  • Several more piracy incidents have occurred in 2008 including a Ukrainian ship, the MV Faina
    MV Faina
    The MV Faina is a roll-on/roll-off cargo ship operated by a Ukrainian company that sails under a Belize flag of convenience.The Faina is owned by Waterlux AG, based in Panama City, and managed by Tomex Team in Odessa, Ukraine....

    , containing an arms consignment for Kenya, including tanks and other heavy weapons, which was possibly heading towards an area of Somalia controlled by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) after its hijacking by pirates before anchoring off the Somali coast. The Somali pirates
    Piracy in Somalia
    Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to international shipping since the second phase of the Somali Civil War in the early 21st century...

    —in a standoff with US missile destroyer the USS Howard
    USS Howard (DDG-83)
    USS Howard is the thirty-third Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy and the nineteenth built at Bath Iron Works. Her keel was laid down 9 December 1998, launched and christened 20 November 1999 and commissioned 20 October 2001.The ship is named in honor of Gunnery Sgt. Jimmie E...

    —asked for a $20 million ransom for the 20 crew members it held; shots were heard from the ship, supposedly because of a dispute between pirates who wanted to surrender and those who didn't. In a separate incident, occurring near the same time (late September to early October), an Iranian cargo ship, MV Iran Deyanat
    MV Iran Deyanat
    MV Iran Deyanat is an Iranian ship that was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden by 40 pirates with Kalashnikovs and RPGs on August 21, 2008. The crew of the ship numbered 29: a Pakistani captain, 14 Iranians including an engineer, 3 Indians, 2 Filipinos, and 10 Eastern Europeans...

    , departing from China, was boarded by pirates off Somalia. The ship's cargo was a matter of dispute, though some pirates have apparently been sickened, lost hair, suffered burns, and even died while on the ship. Speculations of chemical or even radioactive contents have been made.
  • On November 15, 2008, Somali pirates
    Piracy in Somalia
    Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to international shipping since the second phase of the Somali Civil War in the early 21st century...

     seized the supertanker MV Sirius Star
    MV Sirius Star
    MV Sirius Star is an oil tanker owned and operated by Vela International Marine. With a length overall of and a capacity of of crude oil, the ship is classified as a very large crude carrier or VLCC. Vela is based in the United Arab Emirates and is a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian state oil...

    , 450 miles off the coast of Kenya. The ship was carrying around $100 million worth of oil and had a 25-man crew. This marked the largest tonnage vessel ever seized by pirates.
  • On April 8, 2009, Somali pirates briefly captured the MV Maersk Alabama
    MV Maersk Alabama
    MV Maersk Alabama is a container ship owned by Maersk Line Limited and operated by Waterman Steamship Corporation....

    , a 17,000-ton cargo ship containing emergency relief supplies destined for Kenya. It was the latest in a week-long series of attacks along the Somali coast, and the first of these attacks to target a U.S.-flagged vessel. The crew took back control of the ship although the Captain was taken by the escaping pirates to a lifeboat. On Sunday, April 12, 2009, Capt. Richard Phillips was rescued, reportedly in good condition, from his pirate captors who were shot and killed by US Navy SEAL
    United States Navy SEALs
    The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

     sniper
    Sniper
    A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles....

    s. Vice Admiral William E. Gortney reported the rescue began when Commander Frank Castellano
    Frank Castellano
    Francis "Frank" Xavier Castellano is an officer of the United States Navy, holding the rank of Commander and assigned to the Joint Forces Staff College...

    , captain of the USS Bainbridge
    USS Bainbridge (DDG-96)
    USS Bainbridge is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the fifth ship to carry that name, and the 46th destroyer of a planned 62-ship class...

    , determined that Phillips' life was in imminent danger and ordered the action.
  • In July 2009, Finnish-owned ship MV Arctic Sea
    MV Arctic Sea
    The MV Arctic Sea is a merchant vessel cargo ship, formerly of Malta that was reported as missing between late July and mid August 2009 en route from Finland to Algeria. On July 24, the Arctic Sea, manned by a Russian crew and carrying a cargo of what was declared to consist solely of timber, was...

     sailing under Maltese flag was allegedly hijacked in the territorial waters of Sweden by a group of eight to ten pirates disguised as policemen. According to some sources, the pirates held the ship for 12 hours, went through the cargo and later released the ship and the crew. However, an investigation into the incident is underway amidst speculation regarding the ship's actual cargo, allegations of cover-up by Russian authorities and Israeli involvement.
  • On April 1, 2010, pirates attacked the USS Nicholas
    USS Nicholas (FFG-47)
    USS Nicholas , an , was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Major Samuel Nicholas, the first commanding officer of the United States Marines. A third-generation guided missile frigate of the Oliver Hazard Perry class, she was laid down as Bath Iron Works hull number 388 on 27...

    , an Oliver Hazard Perry-class
    Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate
    The Oliver Hazard Perry class is a class of frigates named after the American Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the naval Battle of Lake Erie...

     missile frigate
    Frigate
    A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

     in international waters west of the Seychelles. The pirates opened fire from a small skiff
    Skiff
    The term skiff is used for a number of essentially unrelated styles of small boat. The word is related to ship and has a complicated etymology: "skiff" comes from the Middle English skif, which derives from the Old French esquif, which in turn derives from the Old Italian schifo, which is itself of...

     at 12:27 am local time, presumably mistaking the warship for a merchant vessel in the dark. The USS Nichlolas returned fire, pursuing the small vessel until it stopped. The U.S. Navy crew detained
    Detention (imprisonment)
    Detention is the process when a state, government or citizen lawfully holds a person by removing their freedom of liberty at that time. This can be due to criminal charges being raised against the individual as part of a prosecution or to protect a person or property...

     the three occupants of the skiff as well as two more pirates aboard the mother ship
    Mother ship
    A mother ship is a vessel or aircraft that carries a smaller vessel or aircraft that operates independently from it. Examples include bombers converted to carry experimental aircraft to altitudes where they can conduct their research , or ships that carry small submarines to an area of ocean to be...

    , which was waiting nearby.
  • On October 2, 2010, a 911 call transcript was released detailing an incident of an American tourist who was shot dead by Mexican pirates on a U.S.-Mexico border lake that has been plagued with drug cartel
    Mexican Drug War
    The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict taking place among rival drug cartels who fight each other for regional control, and Mexican government forces who seek to combat drug trafficking. However, the government's principal goal has been to put down the drug-related violence that was...

     violence in recent years.


Authorities estimate that only between 50% to as low as 10% of pirate attacks are actually reported (so as not to increase insurance premiums).

Successful attempts against piracy



International ships equipped with helicopters patrol the waters where pirate activity has been reported, but the area is very large. Some ships are equipped with anti-piracy weaponry such as a sonic device that sends a sonic wave out to a directed target, creating a sound so powerful that it bursts the eardrums and shocks pirates, causing them to become disoriented enough to drop their weapons, while the vessel being pursued increases speed and engages in evasive maneuvering. Additional measures used against pirates include the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicle
Unmanned aerial vehicle
An unmanned aerial vehicle , also known as a unmanned aircraft system , remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned aircraft, is a machine which functions either by the remote control of a navigator or pilot or autonomously, that is, as a self-directing entity...

s (UAVs) and remotely controlled boats.
  • MS Nautica
    MS Nautica
    MS Nautica is an R class cruise ship owned and operated Oceania Cruises. She was built in 2000 by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France for Renaissance Cruises as MS R Five...

    , December 2008
  • US-flagged Maersk Alabama, April 2009, November 2009
  • Liberian-registered cargo ship, April 2009
  • US-flagged MV Liberty Sun
    MV Liberty Sun
    MV Liberty Sun is a ship unsuccessfully attacked by Somali pirates on 14 April 2009.After unloading food aid at Port Sudan, she was proceeding to Mombasa with humanitarian aid, when she was attacked by pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. After successfully avoiding being...

    , April 2009
  • The Marshall Islands-flagged Handytankers Magic, April 2009
  • Operation Dawn of Gulf of Aden
    Operation Dawn of Gulf of Aden
    Operation Dawn of Gulf of Aden was a naval operation by the Republic of Korea Navy against Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea. The operation was spurred by the pirates' seizure of the South Korean chemical tanker Samho Jewelry. In response, the South Korean government sent a destroyer and 30 naval...

    , January 21, 2010.
  • Republic of Korea-flagged freighter Samho Jewelry, January 2011

Legal authority


There are legal barriers to prosecuting individuals captured in international waters. Some countries are struggling to apply existing maritime law, international law, and their own laws, which limits them to having jurisdiction over their own citizens. According to piracy experts, the goal is to "deter and disrupt" pirate activity, and pirates are often detained, interrogated, disarmed, and released. With millions of dollars at stake, pirates have little incentive to stop. This affects Finland, where an on-going case has seen pirates captured and their boat sank but no prosecution is forthcoming, due to the pirates having attacked a vessel of Singapore and not, themselves, being EU or Finnish citizens. A further complication is that Singapore law allows the death penalty for piracy and Finland does not. Some countries have been reluctant to utilize the death penalty to stop pirates.

Prosecutions are rare for several reasons. Modern laws against piracy are almost non-existent. The Dutch are using a 17th-century law against sea robbery to prosecute. Warships that capture pirates have no jurisdiction to try them, and NATO does not have a detention policy in place. Prosecutors have a hard time assembling witnesses and finding translators, and countries are reluctant to imprison pirates because they would be saddled with them upon their release. By contrast, the United States has a statute imposing a sentence of life in prison for piracy "as defined by the law of nations" committed anywhere on the high seas, regardless of the nationality of the pirates or the victims.

George Mason University
George Mason University
George Mason University is a public university based in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, south of and adjacent to the city of Fairfax. Additional campuses are located nearby in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County...

 professor Peter Leeson has suggested that the international community appropriate Somali territorial waters and sell them, together with the international portion of the Gulf of Aden, to a private company which would then provide security from piracy in exchange for charging tolls to world shipping through the Gulf.

Self protection measures and increased patrol


First and foremost, the best protection against piracy is simply to avoid encountering them. This can be accomplished by using tools such as radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

.

In addition, while the non-wartime 20th century tradition has been for merchant vessels not to be armed, the U.S. Government has recently changed the rules so that it is now "best practice" for vessels to embark a team of armed private security guards. In addition, the crew themselves can be given a weapons training, and warning shots, less-lethal ammunition, … can be fired legally in international waters and/or when sailing under Israeli or Russian flag. Finally, similar to weapons training, remote weapon systems can be implemented to a vessel.

Other measures vessels can take to protect themselves against piracy are implementing a high freewall and vessel boarding protection systems (e.g., hot water wall, electricity-charged water wall, automated fire monitor, slippery foam).

Finally, in an emergency, warships can be called upon. In some areas such as near Somalia
Piracy in Somalia
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to international shipping since the second phase of the Somali Civil War in the early 21st century...

, naval vessels from different nations are present that are able to intercept vessels attacking merchant vessels. For patrolling dangerous coastal waters (and/or keeping financial expenses down), robotic or remote-controlled USV
Unmanned surface vehicle
The term unmanned surface vehicle or autonomous surface vehicle refers to any vehicle that operates on the surface of the water without a crew. USVs have been tested since World War II but have been largely overshadowed. This is due to the fact the USVs, such as the OWL Mk II surveillance drone,...

s are also sometimes used. Also, both shore-launched and vessel-launched UAV
Unmanned aerial vehicle
An unmanned aerial vehicle , also known as a unmanned aircraft system , remotely piloted aircraft or unmanned aircraft, is a machine which functions either by the remote control of a navigator or pilot or autonomously, that is, as a self-directing entity...

s are also used by the U.S. Army.

Commerce raiders


A wartime activity similar to piracy involves disguised warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s called commerce raiders or merchant raider
Merchant raider
Merchant raiders are ships which disguise themselves as non-combatant merchant vessels, whilst actually being armed and intending to attack enemy commerce. Germany used several merchant raiders early in World War I, and again early in World War II...

s, which attack enemy shipping commerce, approaching by stealth and then opening fire. Commerce raiders operated successfully during the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 sent out several commerce raiders, the most famous of which was the CSS Alabama
CSS Alabama
CSS Alabama was a screw sloop-of-war built for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead, United Kingdom, in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company. Alabama served as a commerce raider, attacking Union merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career, during which she never anchored in...

. During World War I and World War II, Germany also made use of these tactics, both in the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and Indian Oceans. Since commissioned naval vessels were openly used, these commerce raiders should not be considered even privateers, much less pirates—although the opposing combatants were vocal in denouncing them as such.

United Kingdom


Section 2 of the Piracy Act 1837
Piracy Act 1837
The Piracy Act 1837 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It abolished the death penalty for most offences of piracy, but created a new offence often known as piracy with violence, which was punishable with death...

 creates a statutory offence of aggravated piracy. See also the Piracy Act 1850
Piracy Act 1850
The Piracy Act 1850 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It relates to proceedings for the condemnation of ships and other things taken from pirates and creates an offence of perjury in such proceedings.-Section 1:...

.

In 2008 the British Foreign Office advised the Royal Navy not to detain pirates of certain nationalities as they might be able to claim asylum in Britain under British human rights legislation
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

, if their national laws included execution, or mutilation as a judicial punishment for crimes committed as pirates.

Definition of piracy jure gentium

See section 26 of, and Schedule 5 to, the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997. These provisions replace the Schedule to the Tokyo Convention Act 1967. In Cameron v HM Advocate, 1971 SLT 333, the High Court of Justiciary
High Court of Justiciary
The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court of Scotland.The High Court is both a court of first instance and a court of appeal. As a court of first instance, the High Court sits mainly in Parliament House, or in the former Sheriff Court building, in Edinburgh, but also sits from time...

 said that that Schedule supplemented the existing law and did not seek to restrict the scope of the offence of piracy jure gentium.

See also:
  • Re Piracy Jure Gentium [1934] AC 586, PC
    Privy council
    A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

  • Attorney General of Hong Kong v Kwok-a-Sing (1873) LR 5 PC 179


Jurisdiction

See section 46(2) of the Senior Courts Act 1981
Senior Courts Act 1981
The Senior Courts Act 1981, originally named the Supreme Court Act 1981 , is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act defined in statute the structure of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, now known as the Senior Courts of England and Wales, consisting of the Court of Appeal,...

 and section 6 of the Territorial Waters Jurisdiction Act 1878
Territorial Waters Jurisdiction Act 1878
The Territorial Waters Jurisdiction Act 1878 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The long title of the Act is "An Act to regulate the law relating to the Trial of Offences committed on the Sea within a certain distance of the Coasts of Her Majesty’s Dominions." It is still in force...

. See also R v Kohn (1864) 4 F & F 68.

Piracy committed by or against aircraft

See section 5 of the Aviation Security Act 1982
Aviation Security Act 1982
The Aviation Security Act 1982 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom Parliament. The Act covers Offences against the safety of aircraft; Protection of aircraft, aerodromes and air navigation installations against acts of violence; Policing of airports; and Funding.In addition to murder and...

.

Sentence

The book "Archbold" said that in a case that does not fall with section 2 of the Piracy Act 1837, the penalty appears to be determined by the Offences at Sea Act 1799
Offences at Sea Act 1799
The Offences at Sea Act 1799 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The long title of the Act is "An Act for remedying certain Defects in the Law respecting Offences committed upon the High Seas." It is still in force. It extended the jurisdiction of British courts to crimes committed by...

, which provides that offences committed at sea are liable to the same penalty as if they had been committed upon the shore.

History

William Hawkins said that at common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

, piracy by a subject was esteemed to be petty treason
Petty treason
Petty treason or petit treason was an offence under the common law of England which involved the betrayal of a superior by a subordinate. It differed from the better-known high treason in that high treason can only be committed against the Sovereign...

. The Treason Act 1351
Treason Act 1351
The Treason Act 1351 is an Act of the Parliament of England which codified and curtailed the common law offence of treason. No new offences were created by the statute. It is one of the earliest English statutes still in force, although it has been very significantly amended. It was extended to...

 provided that this was not petty treason.

In English admiralty law
Admiralty law
Admiralty law is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans...

, piracy was classified as petit treason during the medieval period, and offenders were accordingly liable to be drawn and quartered on conviction. Piracy was redefined as a felony
Felony
A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

 during the reign of Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

. In either case, piracy cases were cognizable in the courts of the Lord High Admiral
Admiralty
The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

. English admiralty vice-admiralty
Vice admiralty court
Vice admiralty courts were juryless courts located in British colonies that were granted jurisdiction over local legal matters related to maritime activities, such as disputes between merchants and seamen. Judges were given 5% of confiscated cargo, if they found a smuggling defendant guilty...

 judges emphasized that "neither Faith nor Oath is to be kept" with pirates; i.e. contracts with pirates and oaths sworn to them were not legally binding. Pirates were legally subject to summary execution
Summary execution
A summary execution is a variety of execution in which a person is killed on the spot without trial or after a show trial. Summary executions have been practiced by the police, military, and paramilitary organizations and are associated with guerrilla warfare, counter-insurgency, terrorism, and...

 by their captors if captured in battle. In practice, instances of summary justice and annulment of oaths and contracts involving pirates do not appear to have been common.

Effects on international boundaries


During the 18th century, the British and the Dutch controlled opposite sides of the Straits of Malacca. The British and the Dutch drew a line separating the Straits into two halves. The agreement was that each party would be responsible for combating piracy in their respective half. Eventually this line became the border between Malaysia and Indonesia in the Straits.

Law of nations


Piracy is of note in international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 as it is commonly held to represent the earliest invocation of the concept of universal jurisdiction
Universal jurisdiction
Universal jurisdiction or universality principle is a principle in public international law whereby states claim criminal jurisdiction over persons whose alleged crimes were committed outside the boundaries of the prosecuting state, regardless of nationality, country of residence, or any other...

. The crime of piracy is considered a breach of jus cogens, a conventional peremptory international norm that states must uphold. Those committing thefts on the high seas
International waters
The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems , and wetlands.Oceans,...

, inhibiting trade, and endangering maritime communication are considered by sovereign states to be hostis humani generis
Hostis humani generis
Hostis humani generis is a legal term of art that originates from admiralty law. Before the adoption of public international law, maritime pirates and slavers were held to be beyond legal protection, and could be dealt with as seen fit by any nation, even if that nation had not been directly...

(enemies of humanity).

For a different opinion on Pirates as Hostis Humani Generis see Caninas, Osvaldo Peçanha. Modern Maritime Piracy: History, Present Situation and Challenges to International Law. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISA – ABRI JOINT INTERNATIONAL MEETING, Pontifical Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro Campus (PUC-Rio), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 22, 2009

In the United States, criminal prosecution of piracy is authorized in the U.S. Constitution, Art. I Sec. 8 cl. 10:


The Congress shall have Power ... To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;


Title 18 U.S.C. § 1651 states:


Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.


Citing the United States Supreme Court decision in the year 1820 case of United States v. Smith, a U.S. District Court ruled in 2010 in the case of United States v. Said that the definition of piracy under section 1651 is confined to "robbery at sea." The piracy charges (but not other serious federal charges) against the defendants in the Said case were dismissed by the Court.

Since piracy often takes place outside the territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

 of any state, the prosecution of pirates by sovereign states represents a complex legal situation. The prosecution of pirates on the high seas contravenes the conventional freedom of the high seas. However, because of universal jurisdiction
Universal jurisdiction
Universal jurisdiction or universality principle is a principle in public international law whereby states claim criminal jurisdiction over persons whose alleged crimes were committed outside the boundaries of the prosecuting state, regardless of nationality, country of residence, or any other...

, action can be taken against pirates without objection from the flag state of the pirate vessel. This represents an exception to the principle extra territorium jus dicenti impune non paretur (the judgment of one who is exceeding his territorial jurisdiction may be disobeyed with impunity).

Articles 101 to 103 of UNCLOS


Articles 101 to 103 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea , also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea , which took place from 1973 through 1982...

 (UNCLOS) (1982) contain a definition of piracy iure gentium. They read:


Definition of piracy

Piracy consists of any of the following acts: any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed—
(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;
(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State; any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft; any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

Piracy by a warship, government ship or government aircraft whose crew has mutinied

The acts of piracy, as defined in article 101, committed by a warship, government ship or government aircraft whose crew has mutinied and taken control of the ship or aircraft are assimilated to acts committed by a private ship or aircraft.
Definition of a pirate ship or aircraft

A ship or aircraft is considered a pirate ship or aircraft if it is intended by the persons in dominant control to be used for the purpose of committing one of the acts referred to in article 101. The same applies if the ship or aircraft has been used to commit any such act, so long as it remains under the control of the persons guilty of that act.


This definition was formerly contained in articles 15 to 17 of the Convention on the High Seas
Convention on the High Seas
The Convention on the High Seas is an international treaty created to codify the rules of international law relating to the high seas, otherwise known as international waters. The treaty was one of four agreed upon at the first United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea...

 signed at Geneva on 29 April 1958. It was drafted by the International Law Commission
International Law Commission
The International Law Commission was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 for the "promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification."It holds an annual session at the United Nations Office at Geneva....

.

A limitation of article 101 above is that it confines piracy to the High Seas. As the majority of piratical acts occur within territorial waters, some pirates are able to go free as certain jurisdictions lack the resources to monitor their borders adequately.

IMB Definition


The International Maritime Bureau
International Maritime Bureau
The International Maritime Bureau is a specialized department of the International Chamber of Commerce.The IMB's responsibilities lie in fighting crimes related to maritime trade and transportation, particularly piracy and commercial fraud, and in protecting the crews of ocean-going vessels.It...

 (IMB) defines piracy as:
the act of boarding any vessel with an intent to commit theft or any other crime, and with an intent or capacity to use force in furtherance of that act.

Uniformity in Maritime Piracy Law


Given the diverging definitions of piracy in international and municipal legal systems, some authors argue that greater uniformity in the law is required in order to strengthen anti-piracy legal instruments.

In popular culture


Pirates are a frequent topic in fiction and are associated with certain stereotypical manners of speaking and dress, some of them wholly fictional: "nearly all our notions of their behavior come from the golden age of fictional piracy, which reached its zenith in 1881 with the appearance of Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....

's Treasure Island
Treasure Island
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "pirates and buried gold". First published as a book on May 23, 1883, it was originally serialized in the children's magazine Young Folks between 1881–82 under the title Treasure Island; or, the...

." Some inventions of pirate culture such as "walking the plank
Walking the plank
Walking the plank was a form of murder or torture thought to have been practiced by pirates, mutineers and other rogue seafarers. The victim was forced to walk off the end of a wooden plank or beam, the final six feet of which extended over the side of a ship...

" were popularized by J. M. Barrie
J. M. Barrie
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright...

's novel, Peter Pan
Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie . A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with...

, where Captain Hook
Captain Hook
Captain James Hook is the main antagonist of J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and its various adaptations. The character is a villainous pirate captain of the Jolly Roger brig, and lord of the pirate village/harbour in Neverland, where he is widely feared. Most...

's pirates helped define the fictional pirate archetype
Archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

. A West Country
West Country
The West Country is an informal term for the area of south western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. It is often defined to encompass the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and the City of Bristol, while the counties of...

 native where many famous English pirates such as Blackbeard
Blackbeard
Edward Teach , better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies....

 and Calico Jack
Calico Jack
John Rackham , commonly known as Calico Jack, was an English pirate captain operating in the Bahamas during the early 18th century...

 hailed from, Robert Newton
Robert Newton
Robert Newton was an English stage and film actor. Along with Errol Flynn, Newton was one of the most popular actors among the male juvenile audience of the 1940s and early 1950s, especially with British boys...

's portrayal of Long John Silver
Long John Silver
Long John Silver is a fictional character and the primary antagonist of the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Silver is also known by the nicknames "Barbecue" and the "Sea-Cook".- Profile :...

 in Disney's
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures is an American film studio owned by The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Pictures and Television, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Studios and the main production company for live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, based at the Walt Disney...

 1950 film adaptation
Treasure Island (1950 film)
Treasure Island is a 1950 Disney adventure film, adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. It starred Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins, and Robert Newton as Long John Silver...

 of Treasure Island
Treasure Island
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "pirates and buried gold". First published as a book on May 23, 1883, it was originally serialized in the children's magazine Young Folks between 1881–82 under the title Treasure Island; or, the...

also helped define the modern rendition of a pirate, including the stereotypical West Country "pirate accent". Other influences include Sinbad the Sailor
Sinbad the Sailor
Sinbad the Sailor is a fictional sailor from Basrah, living during the Abbasid Caliphate – the hero of a story-cycle of Middle Eastern origin...

, and the recent Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is a multi-billion dollar Walt Disney franchise encompassing a series of films, a theme park ride, and spinoff novels as well as numerous video games and other publications. The franchise originates with the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, which opened at Disneyland in...

films have helped kindle modern interest in piracy and have performed well at the box office. More recently the 2011 season from Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese series Super Sentai
Super Sentai
The is the name given to the long-running Japanese superhero team genre of shows produced by Toei Co., Ltd., Toei Agency and Bandai, and aired by TV Asahi...

, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger
Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger
is a 2011 Japanese tokusatsu drama in the Super Sentai Series. It is the 35th entry in Toei Company's Super Sentai Series, following Tensou Sentai Goseiger. It premiered on TV Asahi on February 13, 2011, joining Kamen Rider OOO and then Kamen Rider Fourze as a program featured in TV Asahi's Super...

 has as theme pirates, but not as a stereotype, but as adventurers seeking treasure and defend others selflessly.

The classic Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

 operetta
Operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...

 The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The opera's official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on 31 December 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences...

focuses on The Pirate King and his hopeless band of pirates on the South coast of England. The Pirate King is often believed to be inspiration for Jack Sparrow.

Many sport
Sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

s teams use "pirate" or a related term such as "raider
Raider (piracy)
A raider is a person who commits robbery at sea. With use of raid tactics, the raiders uses the naval strategy of attacking an opponent's commercial shipping rather than contending for command of the sea with its naval forces. The raiders destroy supplies of the enemy instead of engaging the...

" or "buccaneer
Buccaneer
The buccaneers were privateers who attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean Sea during the late 17th century.The term buccaneer is now used generally as a synonym for pirate...

" as their nickname, basing their gimmick
Gimmick
In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature...

 around the popular stereotypes of pirates, as well as to give them an "intimidating" image. The Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions...

, a Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, are perhaps the most well-known, and actually got their nickname in 1891 after being accused of "piratical" actions by another team after they signed a player from the accusing team. The Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League – they are the only team in the division not to come from the old NFC West...

, both of whom play in the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

, also use pirate-related nicknames.

See also


  • A General History of the Pyrates
    A General History of the Pyrates
    A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates is a 1724 book published in Britain, containing biographies of contemporary pirates. Influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, it is the prime source for the biographies of many well known pirates...

    , a historical book on pirates
  • Aircraft hijacking
    Aircraft hijacking
    Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

    , a.k.a. air piracy
  • Air Pirates
    Air Pirates
    The Air Pirates were a group of cartoonists who created two issues of an underground comic called Air Pirates Funnies in 1971, leading to a famous lawsuit by The Walt Disney Company...

  • International Talk Like a Pirate Day
    International Talk Like a Pirate Day
    International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur and Mark Summers , of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate...

  • List of pirates
  • Pirate game
    Pirate game
    The pirate game is a simple mathematical game. It illustrates how, if assumptions conforming to a homo economicus model of human behaviour hold, outcomes may be surprising. It is a multi-player version of the ultimatum game.-The game:...

  • Pirate Party
    Pirate Party
    The Pirate Party is a political party in Sweden founded in 2006. Its sudden popularity has given rise to parties with the same name and similar goals in Europe and worldwide, forming the international Pirate Party movement....

     / Pirate Parties International
    Pirate Parties International
    Pirate Parties International is the political international of the Pirate Party movement. It was formally founded in 2010 at the PPI conference in Brussels, Belgium.-Aims:The PPI statutes give its purposes as:...

  • Pirate Round
    Pirate Round
    The Pirate Round was a sailing route followed by certain Anglo-American pirates, mainly during the late 17th century. The course led from the western Atlantic, around the southern tip of Africa, stopping at Madagascar, then on to targets such as the coast of Yemen and India. The Pirate Round was...

  • Pirate utopia
    Pirate utopia
    Pirate utopias were described by anarchist writer Peter Lamborn Wilson in his 1995 book Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes as secret islands once used for supply purposes by pirates...

  • Pirate's World
    Pirate's World
    Pirate's World was an pirate-themed amusement park in Dania, Florida that opened in 1967. Developed by Recreation Corporation of America, it was located on the north side of Sheridan Street, east of US 1....

  • Software piracy
  • Spanish treasure fleet
    Spanish treasure fleet
    The Spanish treasure fleets was a convoy system adopted by the Spanish Empire from 1566 to 1790...

  • Statute of Monopolies
  • The Successful Pyrate
    The Successful Pyrate
    The Successful Pyrate is a play by Charles Johnson, first performed 1712, published 1713, dealing with the life of the pirate Henry Avery....

    , a historical play
  • Women in piracy
    Women in piracy
    While piracy was predominantly a male activity or occupation, a significant minority of historical pirates have been female. Female pirates, like other women in crime, faced unique issues in practicing this occupation and in punishment for it....


Further reading

  • I Sailed With Chinese Pirates by Aleko Lilius
    Aleko Lilius
    Aleko Axel August Eugen Lilius, was an explorer, free-lance writer and photographer, variously described as an “English journalist,” “Russian-Finnish,” “an English writer of Finnish origins,” “a United States citizen of Finnish origin,” a “Swedish journalist and adventurer,” and an “intrepid...

    , Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    , USA, October 17, 1991,ISBN 0-19-585297-4.
  • Contemporary Maritime Piracy in Southeast Asia. By: Chalk, Peter. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, January–March 1998, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p87, 26p, 1 chart; (AN 286864).
  • Dangerous Waters, Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas, by John S. Burnett. Dutton, 2003, Plume, 2003–2004, New York. (ISBN 0-452-28413-9).
  • Japanese Anti-Piracy Initiatives in Southeast Asia. By: Bradford, John. Contemporary Southeast Asia, December 2004, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p480-505, 26p; (AN 15709264).
  • Maritime Piracy and Anti-Piracy Measures. By: Herrmann, Wilfried. Naval Forces, 2004, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p18-25, 6p; (AN 13193917).
  • Maritime Piracy in Southeast Asia. By: Liss, Carolin. Southeast Asian Affairs, 2003, p52, 17p; (AN 10637324).
  • Pirates, Fishermen and Peacebuilding - Options for Counter-Piracy in Somalia. By: Bueger, Christian, Stockbruegger, Jan and Werthes, Sascha. Contemporary Security Policy, 2011, Vol.32, No.2.
  • Modern Piracy. Naval Forces, 2005, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p20-31, 7p; (AN 18506590).
  • Terror on the High Seas. By: Koknar, Ali. Security Management, June 2004, Vol. 48 Issue 6, p75-81, 6p; (AN 13443749)
  • Goodman, Timothy H. 'Leaving the Corsair's name to other times:' How to enforce the law of sea piracy in the 21st century through regional international agreements / Timothy H. Goodman In: Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, vol.31 (Winter 1999) nr.1, P.: 139-168.
  • Piracy:Out of Sight, Out of Mind?, Goorangai, RANR Occasional Papers, August (2006) Royal Australian Navy
  • Rogue Wave: Modern Maritime Piracy and International Law, Article published on the electronic magazine The Culture & Conflict Review of the United States Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California by Commander Osvaldo Peçanha Caninas Article in NPS site.

External links