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While this week sees the general release of Hollywood’s interpretation of the infamous hijacking of the Maersk Alabama with the Tom Hanks vehicle Captain Philips, it is worth recalling just how far we have come since the heady days of piracy in 2009. Today, the number of seafarers held in capacity stands at one of its lowest points – although one is one too many of course. However, dangers remain, particularly in places like Somalia and West Africa, where endemic poverty and easy access to major shipping lanes will always make piracy an option – while for some ex-pirates, a new career as an armed guard appears to beckon.

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