It is clear that the area slightly north of the equator is the place where piracy occurs. Certain hot zones exist.
- Off the coast of the Guianas seems to be more or less thugs.
- The coast from Liberia to Cameroon is another problem area. Here are spill overs from civil wars, ethnic conflicts, and general criminal activity from Nigerian tribes (the one's who take oil workers hostage).
- The Horn of Africa has long been a problem. From attacking cruise ships to conflicts with the United States navy, here the pirates are problem the most well armed. RPGs are not an uncommon sight. Warlords, criminal gangs, and Islamists groups like the former Islamic Court Union have all engaged in piracy.
- Bay of Bengal has been more and more a trouble spot. The Tamil Tigers navy has even begun to worry India.
- Southeast Asia has long been a pirate hot spot and continues to be so. Economic troubles in Indonesia and elsewhere has made piracy an appealing choice to some.
For more on modern piracy read the short Popular Mechanics article.