Pirates off Somalia pretty much launched this blog three years ago this month. Three years after a cruise used an LRAD to fend of pirates one hundred miles offshore and little firm called Top Cat was awarded a $50m contract, piracy remains a significant issue. So significant that blog friend Galrahn tell us Santa’s elves may have to resort to wooden toys (made from bamboo? where’s the bamboo coming from? doh!):

Could the Somalian pirates ruin Christmas? Maybe, according to PC World, who notes that shipping company's in Mombai are so frustrated with Somalian piracy shooting up their ships heading through the Suez that they are contemplating moving materials around the Cape of Good Hope instead. What does that mean? Well, higher prices for one, delayed shipments for another.

To investigate, friend David Axe is headed off to Somalia to practice more citizen journalism and needs your help.

The first week of December, I will be heading to the Horn of Africa to cover theescalating piracy crisis. I’m working hard to get sufficient assignments to cover expenses, but it’s looking pretty bleak. This is expensive work — costs for me will total around $10,000 — and in recent years the rates for freelancers have dropped by around half. So far, the value of my assignments is just $2,200 $2,800. I’m committed to doing this work, cost be damned, but it’d be nice not to fall into complete financial ruin.

Help out Dave if you can.

From Nov-Dec 2005:

From ‘today’:

Note: two years ago I had a category for piracy, but I killed it to keep the category list clean and focused. In lieu of reinstating “piracy”, a new, broader and necessary category is introduced with this post: Non-State Actors.