The latest event in a recent upsurge in pirate activity off Africa’s coast was also the biggest attack yet. A Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying $100 million worth of oil was commandeered by pirates 450 nautical miles away from the Kenyan coastline. This attack was unprecedented in both the size of the target and its distance away from shore, and as such represents a higher level of boldness on the part of the pirates.

Shipping is an essential part of today’s global economy, and the threat of piracy to the shipping industry is quite real. Far from the swashbuckling, peg-legged pirates of lore, today’s pirates are highly organized and often carry an array of modern weaponry. Navies from around the world have reacted by stepping up protection of shipping vessels. It might be time for business leaders to begin serious discussions of how to deal with the piracy threat as well…

More information about this attack is available at the Wall Street Journal.

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