Pirates capture fishing vesselOctober 2, 2009 - 20:30
Early on the morning of 2 October, Somali pirates gained control of the Spanish tuna fishing vessel ALAKRANA, midway between the Seychelles and the Somali port of Kismayo, some 400 miles offshore. The fishing vessel, with a crew of 36, was just two days into an expedition.
Fishing vessels are always at a higher risk of piracy than other ships on the high seas. For this reason, EU NAVFOR has been working closely with the fishing fleets in the region, which are operating outside any territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zones.
Regular flights by maritime patrol aircraft are conducted, and a number of warships are assigned to patrol the fishing grounds, protecting and reassuring the fishermen. Specialist advisors from the tuna fishing industry are stationed at Northwood to work alongside the military commanders of the operation. At the time of this attack, the EU NAVFOR Spanish warship CANARIAS was in company with a number of tuna fishing vessels.
EU NAVFOR is working very closely with the Spanish authorities, other military forces in the region and the fishing industry to provide assistance in this case and provide continued protection to all legitimate fishermen and seafarers in this vast stretch of troubled waters.
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