Following the recent pirate attack on the Comoros-flagged fuel tanker, MT Aris 13, EU Naval Force warships and maritime patrol aircraft have been continuing their counter-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia.
During the weekend Spanish marines from the EU Naval Force flagship, ESPS Galicia, took the opportunity to speak to local Somali fishermen in order to provide reassurance about the European Union’s continuing commitment to deter piracy off the coast.
As Somali fishermen often spend many days at sea without returning to the shore, they very much appreciated the water and food offered by ESPS Galicia during their meeting. The fishermen stated that they and Somali coastal communities do not want to see a return to the armed pirate attacks that plagued the waters of the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean just a few years ago.
The EU Naval Force was launched by the European Union in December 2008 following a surge in Somali-based piracy, and prior to MT Aris 13 being pirated there had not been a successful pirate attack since May 2012.
Last week the EU Naval Force Operation Commander, Major General Rob Magowan CBE, reiterated the need for continued vigilance in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, stating that whilst piracy has been significantly reduced, the attack on MT Aris 13 showed that the threat still remains.