UNCLOS complicates anti-piracy efforts by allowing pirates to act within the EEZ of weak states
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Several factors make naval patrols the only true legal and practical option.117 Only warships can seize pirates under UNCLOS,118 and the IMO strongly cautions against arming merchant ship crews or carrying private security forces on-board because of the possibility for escalation of violence during pirate attacks.119 Moreover, Somalia lacks the power to control its own maritime territory, and so international antipiracy efforts necessarily do the job for it. The UNCLOS provisions that protect coastal states’ sovereignty would hamper antipiracy efforts. Since UNCLOS permits the establishment of a state’s territorial sea at the waters within twelve nautical miles from the coastal low-water line,120 and Somalia is a signatory of the treaty,121 pirates operating in a vast area around Somalia’s long coastline could theoretically harass and hijack ships with a manner of double impunity. States have thus gone to great lengths to address that obstacle. Yet safeguarding their ability to exercise jurisdiction in foreign territorial waters for enforcement purposes did not provide the broad and flexible adjudica- tive jurisdiction states today require.