Geography

Pirates and Pointing Fingers

PIRACY CONTROL IN HIGH SEAS International piracy has been increasingly appreciated as a global threat especially within the high seas where none of the sovereign states owns up the responsibility in ensuring security. Pirates have therefore been taking advantage of this and have been taking ships and crew members’ hostage and in return demand for ransoms. The threat is not limited to a particular country and as such all sovereign states are faced with no alternative but to adopt some mechanisms that can be applied to control the current threat. Some efforts to draft formal laws into territorial waters were however drafted within the 20th century and must therefore be appreciated as good steps towards containing the global threat of maritime piracy.
Back in 2007, Russia rose to become a pace setter in issues of maritime policy when it planted its flag within the Arctic ocean while expressing discontentment and discord in the manner maritime security has been handled over years especially within the high seas. Dodds (2011 63-73) critically analyzes the working of CCLS (Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf) as well as the various strategies that have been undertaken by coastal states towards the OCS (outer continental shelf). The study appreciated the efforts embraced by such states as Russia, Canada and Norway as well as member states to European Union on matters of controlling the maritime activity as favored by their geographic proximity to the high seas.
As a discipline, political has risen to command great influence in the modern day studies as a discipline in the contemporary human society especially after the 20th century. Modernism and postmodernism have been distinctive disciplines with diversity of opinions especially in regard to human cultural diversity and the supremacy. Unlike the modernism principle that esteems ‘self’ even in matters pertaining to global effect, the postmodernism is much focused on pluralism and is much skeptical towards fundamental laws as well as the unchanging relations between individuals. Blacksell (2006, 169-171) shows that the oceans have been an integral part in human geography especially from the fact that the oceans occupy about 70% of the earth. Accordingly, he notes that even after human civilization, the better part of 20th century remained devoid of any form of control or political regulation on the oceans despite being greatly esteemed as a mode of transport. This lack of regulatory frameworks exposed sailors to greater risks from the terror groups and pirates who would not only destroy valuables and lives but who would also demand ransoms from the nations.
Coastal countries have much role to play in management of the menace through investing in navy and establishing maritime laws, which can be effective, and be acceptable by the international community. Through common efforts, sovereign states can be able to command control over the high seas by contributing to navy teams, which would be keeping surveillance in the areas prone to piracy like along the coastal area of horn of Africa (Chalk 2008, 5). While sovereign states would have developed legal frameworks to manage high seas, there may lack universally acceptable laws that would be effective in managing the situation. Besides, countries should design and impose stringent fines and legal actions on the perpetrators of the vice whenever they are caught in order to discourage others who would be potential perpetrators.
Bibliography
Blacksell, Mark. “Political Geography”. New York: Routledge, (2001) pp. 168-181.
Chalk, Peter. “The Maritime Dimension of International Security: Terrorism, Piracy and Challenges for the United States”. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, (2008). pp. 1-18.
Dodds, Klaus "Flag Planting and Finger Pointing: The Law of the Sea, the Arctic and the Political Geographies of the Outer Continental Shelf." Political Geography (2011).29 (2), pp. 63-73.

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