Somali Pirates Strike Again Near Nascent Tourist Hotspot
These Somali pirates have hijacked everything from a freighter full of tanks to a megacruiser awash in oil. But the latest report out of the Gulf of Aden involves the soon-to-be-hot Yemeni island of Socotra: Bandits overwhelmed the MV Adina sometime in the past few days, Yemeni officials determined, after its shipment of steel didn't arrive on the island as planned on November 20.
Remote Socotra, which was featured in T magazine in 2007, is right in the middle of the pirate-friendly Gulf of Aden, far enough away from all other civilization that it has the most biological diversity on Earth after Hawaii and the Galapagos.
At the time of the T article, only about 2,500 tourists visited annually, though that was 10 times the number of visitors seen just a few years prior. With a UN plan for slow and sustainable development, Socotra is hoping to cash in on expanded tourism while keeping the local culture and environment intact. Sounds terrific, though we could do without the pirate assaults!
· Socotra Archipelago Conservation and Development Programme [Official Site]
· Somali Pirates Hijack Yemeni Cargo Ship [Reuters, via NYT]
· Keeping up with the Pirates [Jaunted]
[Photo of Socotra: UncleEddy]