EU NAVFOR MONITORING FISHING ACTIVITY OFF THE COAST OF SOMALIAApril 19, 2018 - 15:33
EU NAVFOR warships have been conducting friendly approaches with fishing vessels off the coast of Somalia this week as part of the Operation Atalanta mandate to monitor fishing activity in the region.
A friendly approach is a friendly and voluntary interaction with local seafarers who are not suspected of being engaged in acts of piracy. Any suspicious or suspected illegal fishing activity is reported by EU NAVFOR to the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). Working with international colleagues, DG MARE will investigate the vessel, and if deemed appropriate, seek prosecution, as was the case with the fishing vessel Greko 1 in 2016.
On the morning of Saturday 14th April the EU NAVFOR Spanish warship, ESPS Patiño, carried out a friendly approach on a Yemeni owned dhow. The Master was aware of Op Atalanta and he was happy for his vessel to be boarded. The Master had a valid fishing licence and 9 of the crew members were from Somalia.
On the same day, ITS Carlo Margottini, EU NAVFOR’s Flagship, performed two friendly approaches. The fisherman welcomed the marines on board and they discussed issues around piracy and how it affects their livelihoods. The marines explained EU NAVFOR’s mission in deterring piracy and monitoring fishing activities throughout the area.
Both EU NAVFOR warships are continuing with their counter-piracy patrols along the Somali coast as part of the European Union’s effort to help make the waters in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden safe from the risk of piracy-related crime. EU NAVFOR is committed to deterring acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea to allow the free flow of international commerce.
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