Keeping Somali waters safe
Anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia has a crucial role to play in keeping both merchant shipping and fishing vessels safe on waters off Eastern Africa, and efforts are also made to meet and local fishermen.
Last month patrols from Spanish warship ESPS Relampago met Somali fishermen at sea and spoke to them through an interpreter to explain their role there and the EU naval forceâ€™s part in protecting the World Food Programme ship Douro, currently delivering food aid, and keeping it safe from pirates.
Since the European Union launched Operation Atalanta in December 2008, 100% of World Food Programme vessels have arrived safely in Somalia and over one million tonnes of aid has been distributed to the Somali people.
Counter-piracy patrols off the coast are carried out to deter any would-be pirates from coming out to sea to attack ships and during these patrols friendly approaches are made to local fishermen help to build mutual trust and understanding between counter-piracy naval forces and the local Somali community.
After a surge in attacks in 2008, pirate activity off the coast of Somalia has dropped significantly in the past few years.
Source: EU NavFor
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