Pirates are associated with something romantic for us, like Jack Sparrow - an eyepatch, a parrot on the shoulder, and inevitably some kind of love story. Well, and of course, we believe that it's all in the distant past. However, piracy exists in the 21st century, and it's far from romantic. Sailors setting out to sea are aware of the existence of pirates and try to steer clear of the areas where they operate.


The most famous and dangerous modern pirates are from Somalia. Before the civil war in Somalia in 2005, they were simple fishermen who turned into bandits. The majority of Somali pirates are young people under 30, armed to the teeth and well-organized. They are often drug addicts, which leads them to behave exceptionally irrationally and cruelly.

Sailors, of course, try to avoid this sea area, but it's not always possible, especially for commercial vessels. That's why commercial ships are now escorted by military convoys, and the crew is trained on how to behave in the event of an attack. NATO and EU member countries' patrols operate off the coast of Somalia.

The Caribbean

Slightly less known but equally dangerous nowadays are the pirates of the Caribbean Sea. Forget about the movies: modern Caribbean pirates are not only involved in robbery but also engage in drug trafficking, often under the protection of corrupt officials. This is one of their main sources of prosperity. Caribbean pirates, besides their actions at sea, also carry out attacks on land.

Southeast Asia

Pirates also operate in this region, especially in the Malacca Strait between Malaysia and Sumatra. They act swiftly, targeting crew members, taking cargo onto their own vessels, and then disappearing. Indonesian pirates launch surprise attacks, often hiding on one of the many islands in Indonesia. Many of them live on uninhabited islands, using them as bases for their raids.


The West Coast of Africa is the territory of Nigerian pirates. They frequently target oil tankers navigating those waters. The surge of piracy in Nigerian waters occurred when patrolling intensified off the coast of Somalia. In addition to oil, Nigerian pirates specialize in kidnapping for ransom. They operate with extreme brutality, torturing and intimidating people, and even resorting to shootings. Over 80% of seafarers kidnapped globally have been taken by Nigerian pirates.

The fight against maritime piracy is taken seriously. In California, for instance, there is a training center that prepares specialists to combat pirates. Entire training units undergo training here, subsequently patrolling the coasts of Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In Malaysia, a piracy-fighting center was established in 1991. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, all countries are required to collaborate in order to suppress piracy at sea, regardless of whether a particular area falls under the jurisdiction of any specific nation.