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In the early 21st century, seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue (with estimated worldwide losses of US$16 billion per year in 2007), particularly in the waters between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, off the Somali coast, and also in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore.Today, pirates armed with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades use small motorboats to attack and board ships, a tactic that takes advantage of the small number of crew members on modern cargo vessels and transport ships.
As early as 258 AD, the Gothic-Herulic fleet ravaged towns on the coasts of the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara.one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel).Piracy or pirating is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of states.In the Roman province of Britannia, Saint Patrick was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates.The most widely known and far-reaching pirates in medieval Europe were the Vikings, seaborne warriors from Scandinavia who raided and looted mainly between the 8th and 12th centuries, during the Viking Age in the Early Middle Ages.In the Late Middle Ages, the Frisian pirates known as Arumer Zwarte Hoop led by Pier Gerlofs Donia and Wijerd Jelckama, fought against the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with some success.
Toward the end of the 9th century, Moorish pirate havens were established along the coast of southern France and northern Italy.
In classical antiquity, the Phoenicians, Illyrians and Tyrrhenians were known as pirates.
The ancient Greeks condoned piracy as a viable profession; it apparently was widespread and "regarded as an entirely honourable way of making a living".
Historic examples include the waters of Gibraltar, the Strait of Malacca, Madagascar, the Gulf of Aden, and the English Channel, whose geographic structures facilitated pirate attacks.
Privateering uses similar methods to piracy, but the captain acts under orders of the state authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation, making it a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors.
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable items or properties.