In 2010 alone Somali pirates have attacked 208 vessels, hijacking 44 of them. It is easy to understand the rage of ship owners as each successful seizure of a vessel costs an average of $9m in ransom payments and lost earnings.
An even higher price is paid by the the crews of hijacked ships in terms of their physical and emotional stress. Currently, 567 people are still held hostage by the pirates.
Mercenaries on water. Privateers? Or does that require a charter of some kind?