Exploring the economic motivation of maritime piracy

Yasutaka Tominaga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents two hypotheses regarding the relationship between marine fisheries and maritime piracy. These hypotheses are based on the opportunity and willingness framework and describe how fish values and production can drive fishermen to engage in illegal activities, and the mechanisms that their capabilities and choices make available to them stipulate the forms that piracy takes when facing a declining fishing economy. The hypotheses are tested with the Maritime Piracy Data (MPD) using the negative binomial regression and the bivariate Poisson model. This study uses the instrumental variable approach to deal with endogeneity through two instruments: chlorophyll concentrations and temperature. The statistical analysis shows that unsophisticated piracy attacks are sensitive to fish production, but sophisticated attacks can be affected by both fish production and fish values and depend on the opportunity cost of existing fisheries and finding work in other industries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalDefence and Peace Economics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016 Jun 15


  • Fisheries
  • Instrumental variables
  • Maritime piracy
  • Opportunity and willingness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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