EU NAVFOR has operated in the Southern Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and a large part of the Indian Ocean since 2008. The Area of Operations is an area covering approximately 8,700,000 square kilometres including the Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros, the Somali coastal territory, as well as its territorial and internal waters. With up to 95% of EU Member States’ trade (by volume) transported by sea and 20% of global trade passing through the Gulf of Aden, EU NAVFOR gives considerable effort to safeguarding trade through this strategic area.
Meetings with local seafarers, or ‘friendly approaches’, are regularly conducted to gather a better understanding of maritime practices by talking with the crews of fishing and trading vessels in the region and to make ships’ masters aware of the Best Management Practices (BMP) for protection against Somali-based piracy, i.e. self-protection measures.