On Wednesday, the Saudi foreign minister said that talks between the owners of the oil tanker and the pirates are ongoing. In addition to their capture of the oil tanker, the pirates also took its crew hostage.
More than 20,000 tankers, freighters and merchant vessels annually pass through the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Africa. Pirates have attacked nearly 100 vessels this year and hijacked around three dozen.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, a private group that monitors global piracy, at least fourteen vessels with 243 crew members are still being held captive.
The flare-up of piracy means that shipping companies are paying steeper fees for insurance and some are debating whether they should take longer routes to avoid the area. But that would mean higher transportation costs, which would affect the overall price of their goods.
Andre Le Sage is an assistant professor at the National Defense University. He has written widely about militia faction politics and counter-terrorism efforts in Somalia.
J. Peter Pham is the director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. His research includes international relations, international law, and African politics and security.