One of the many hazards of the seas is piracy - but what is it ? Modern piracy was clearly defined under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982. If one opens UNCLOS Articles 100 through 107 and 110 it is all there to read, understand and follow.
As a result of the attempted boarding of a Russian oil rig on the High Seas in International Waters the Russian Law Enforcement Authorities detained activists from the organization Greenpeace. As a result of their questioning of these activists - maritime terrorists under Russian Law - Russian Maritime Authorities boarded, detained and towed to Murmansk, Russia their vessel MS Arctic Sunrise.
Now after continuing inquires the entire crew of the MS Arctic Sunrise have been charged with piracy under UNCLOS Articles 100 - 107 & 110. Of course the Greenpeace Organization can whine and moan at the injustice of the charges brought against them but they must know quite well that these are legal charges not really unexpected.
Prior to taking any action this organization must surely have operational planning meetings to discuss the strategy of the operation. It would seem likely that during these meetings the subject of piracy would be discussed and probably explained to the personnel directly involved in boarding the oil rig. NAUTICAL LOG therefore cannot believe that these piracy charges brought by the Russian Authorities can be a surprise to Greenpeace and those involved in this incident.
It is not a valid excuse by one party to break International Maritime Law because they believe the action taken by the other party is wrong. It this case it is clearly preferable that the Russians to NOT drill in the Arctic Region at all. From their operational history they seem to make an incredible mess of most everything they do with regular serious disasters involving astronomical environmental damage and loss of life. However two wrongs do NOT make a right and therefore the Greenpeace pirates must now expect to be punished quite severely by the Russian Authorities for breaking both Russian and International Maritime Law.
Sadly the Arctic Regional drilling by Russia continues and no doubt one can expect the inevitable environmental disaster.