In the last 30 years, major outbreaks have ranged from attacks on Boat People leaving Vietnam to the latest hostage-taking off tankers in the Horn of Africa. One episode differs radically from the next, “but all are considered piracy under international law,” says Hugh Williamson, an adjunct professor in the faculty of management at Dalhousie University.
Now, a new research project that he’s leading in the marine affairs program will bring to gether experts from many fields including marine law, economics, military affairs and transportation. The goal: to come up with policy recommendations for the UN that could help prevent future outbreaks.
By examining the problem holistically, says Mr. Williamson, “we think we can come up with a wardrobe of different ideas that can help us deal with the next outbreak of piracy, not just the last one.”
The two-year program, dubbed PIRACY (for Policy Development and Interdisciplinary Research for Actions on Coastal Communities, Youth and Seafarers) has a $500,000 grant from the TK Foundation and inkind support from the university.