Pirates conversation questions

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  • What pirate films can you think of?
  • What is the traditional image of a pirate?
  • Do you think that we have a romantic idea of pirates? Do you think they were liberal free spirits or simply violent thieves?

Somali piracy[edit]

  • In what ways - if any - do the Somali pirates differ from the traditional pirate image?
  • How long ago did the Somali pirates start to appear in the news?
  • It seems to be very difficult to stop these pirates. Why is this?
  • One way to protect ships passing through the area would be to arm the sailors. What do you think of this idea?
  • What countries does Somalia share a border with?
  • What do you know about the political situation in Somalia?
  • What do you know about the origin of Somali piracy?
  • Traditionally the punishment for piracy was hanging. Do you think the Somali pirates should be hanged if they are caught?


  • All companies or governments seem to eventually pay ransom money to the pirates. Should this be prevented somehow? How could this be done?
  • It might be possible to attempt to strike at the "pirate bases" - the villages where they live. What is your opinion of this idea? What would be the advantages and disadvantages?
  • Should more effort be put into tracing the money which is paid to the pirates? How could this be done?
  • The pirates sometimes maintain that illegal fishing in Somali waters, toxic waste dumping by international companies in uncontrolled Somali waters and poverty justify their actions. Would it be better to address these issues first? If so, how?
  • A vast amount of money has been paid in ransoms to the pirates (who now may be more wealthy than the various Somali governments) and another vast quantity continues to be expended at sea in order to counter the activities financed by these ransoms. Yet very little, perhaps none, has been spent trying to resolve problems onshore. Do you think this is wise?

See also[edit]