Somali Piracy has made a big boom in recent years and has gained more popularity from the award winning movie Captain Phillips and just like in the movie, it's a real threat to the merchant mariners and others who bring needed supplies to foreign countries.
The main reason why the Somali people go to piracy is because of money. As people probably know, Africa is the poorest continent with Somalia being one of the poorest countries with approximately 43% of the people living below the poverty line according mapsofworld.com. So as stated before this is a poor place so piracy maybe the only option for them. Earning the money as a pirate can be difficult because most of the pirates can't afford a decent boat so they can only patrol waters 10 miles out and most ships know that, and stay out of the pirate zone. If the sailors are captured, ransoms are sent out to the countries in which they come from and mostly have a $500,000 or above payment.
As the human population grows the demand for food does too, so as a result people make protected areas where people can and can't hunt or fish for food. The pirates are exploiting these protected area for their own interest by offering licenses to foreign fisheries to fish in these protected areas. As usually with the pirates this comes with a cost of $400,000 or above. This is depleting all of Somalia's native fish which is bad for the environment and the ecosystem of their waters.
Piracy has an a affect on the pirates too. Most pirates are sent to jail to live in even harsher ways than they were at the time before they became pirates. Some pirates even get arrested on purpose to avoid getting killed by their superiors if they fail to hijack their ship. Piracy is also a very dangerous activity because their ship could sink and get hurt in other ways, and sometimes the crew could fight back leading to injury.
80% percent of the worlds trade is with the use of boats, ships, and tankers, so piracy has a big impact on the global trade routes. The trade routes could be block by pirates in a certain area and the ships would have to avoid them and end up off course. Also this would make them take longer to reach their destination.