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Somali Pirates Create Gap in Ocean Research
By Angela Messina, April 27, 2013 @ 03:06 PM (EST)
Source: National Geographic

Scientific research in a section of the Indian Ocean close to what’s known as the Horn of Africa has ground to a halt because of the threat of Somali pirates, creating a huge gap in knowledge across many disciplines, including oceanography, climate change, plate tectonics, and plankton evolution.

Although the threat of Somali pirates is fairly well known in regards to commercial fishing operations and cargo ships, the general public isn’t as aware of the vast amount of scientific knowledge that is also lost. Scientists face the same risk of violence, death, or being taken hostage at the hands of pirates.

Sarah Feakens is just one of the scientists who has had to stop or drastically alter the course of her research due to piracy threats. “This problem has been going on a long time and with virtually no public awareness. All kinds of efforts are made to keep the commercial sea lanes around Somalia open. Nobody talks about the lost science.”

Read more here.

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