A research team from Dalhousie University may not be battling Blackbeard, but they are undertaking a similar quest: preventing piracy.
Led by the Marine Affairs program at the Halifax-based university, the work will explore issues surrounding modern piracy to gain insights that may help prevent future outbreaks of violence at sea, said Hugh Williamson, project manager and lead investigator for the Dalhousie marine and piracy project.
“What sets us apart is we’re looking at the issue in a holistic manner … which hasn’t been done before,” he said, adding he has a law, operations and socio-economic team.
Williamson said pirates are dealt with on a regional basis: whoever catches privateers tries them within the local jurisdiction.
He hopes the two-year project will offer a more efficient and effective process.
“We will come up with what we call our considered policy options, and then say, ‘Here’s the types of things you can do to prevent and deal with piracy, but here’s the things you’re going to have to do to make it work.’”
He said the university serves as the perfect platform to investigate the issue.
“Almost everyone involved in the project has been dealing with an aspect of piracy,” he said. “We have a lot of different sectors at Dalhousie and a lot of different connections around the world, and that makes us an ideal hub to take a look at this issue.”