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AS the disastrous piracy situation looks set to continue, the National Union of Seafarers of India is not the only body to be calling for a boycott of trade in pirate-infested waters off the African coast until governments come up with some solution to the problem. The union is in favour of deploying the UN's Blue Berets.

The International Transport Workers Federation has also been suggesting recently that crew members should refuse to travel through the danger zone. The more cynical suggest that such boycotts will never be put into operation because of seafarers' fears that if they don't take the job, someone else will. What is clear is that now the Somali pirates are using captured vessels as motherships, pirate activity is no longer seasonal but all the year round, so a respite period is no longer an option.

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