Somali pirates arrested following a botched attempt to hijack an oil tanker off the Arabian coast have spoken out from jail about the difficulties of doing their job in the light of public opinions about pirates.
One, code-named Roger, said "The general public have an impression of our industry which has been built up by the media and is very difficult to live up to in reality".
He highlighted fictional pirates including Long John Silver and Captain Bluebeard who he claimed bore little resemblance to the realities of modern pirate life.
He was quoted by Associated Press saying."In practice it would be almost impossible for someone with a disability like a wooden leg or an eye patch to make a successful living in this industry. Furthermore pets are strongly discouraged.
"Working as a pirate is increasingly becoming a very competitive industry and members of our trade union have reported very high levels of stress and work-related injuries. Barriers to entry have fallen dramatically and thousands of new pirates are joining the profession every day by downloading illegal copies of House or Sex and the City."
For those wishing to move up the career ladder oil tankers are an increasingly popular choice, as Roger explained, "It's not that there's anything easy about boarding an oil vessel, it's straightforward economics considering the shortage of booty being transported inter-continentally.
"Even when booty is available, it can be difficult to trade for goods and services. Golden doubloons are not recognised as legal tender outside of Harwich International port area and the wenches there would much rather work on a P&O ferry or in IT than be lashed to some riggings in a storm."