Spanish tuna fleet asks for extension of Indian Ocean mission against piracy

Organizations representing the Spanish tuna fleet, OPAGAC and ANABAC, along with the shipowners’ association CEPESCA, are asking the European Union to extend beyond 2018 the Atalanta operation against piracy in the Indian Ocean. Channeling their request through Spain’s Ministry of Defence, the shipowners said that boarding attempts had increased this year and that Panamanian oil tanker Aris 13 was attacked a few months ago in the same waters as those where Basque tuna vessel Alakrana was hijacked in 2009.

The tuna fleet said that these incidents revealed that “the pirates are back in action and that they have interpreted that the security measures have relaxed”. CEPESCA general secretary Javier Garat said that “the danger remains because piracy itself is latent and waiting to wake up at any time”.