Maritime piracy is both ageless as a threat as well as ductile in its dramatically changing nature both in and around the Indian Ocean and, increasingly, in other parts of the world. Somali piracy erupted in the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden and commercial vessels transiting the area frequently fell prey to the seagoing criminals who captured numerous vessels and held them and their crews for ransom to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
Numerous maritime nations sent naval patrols to the region but this strategy only caused the pirates to change their "business model" and begin capturing vessels as far away as the Indian coastline. It wasn't until Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs) began to deploy Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) teams aboard an increasing number of vessels transiting the High Risk Area that the problem began to subside.
Now, even as the U.S. Department of State and other hallowed international institutions recognize the fundamental importance of PMSCs, now hailed as "game changers" in the Gulf of Aden, it is nonetheless critically important that ship owners and operators carefully continue to survey what is out there in order to have the tools needed to cope with tomorrow's threats and to protect their vessels, cargos, crew members and the bottom line.