NATO Fights Somali Piracy Nearer Coast
This week, the ships of NATO’s counter piracy task force have been busy visiting local and regional mariners. Using their rigid hull inflatable boats, boarding teams from HNLMS ROTTERDAM, HDMS IVER HUITFELDT and USS HALYBURTON liaised with the dhows and skiffs to exchange information.
Naval patrols, armed security guards and best management practices on merchant ships are often stated as the reasons for the reduced number of pirate attacks and hijacks, however, to discourage pirates from going to sea in the first place the task force is moving into the coastal waters of Somalia.
Commodore Ben Bekkering, Commander of the task force explains;
“We know the pirates find it increasingly difficult to remain undetected at sea for a long time. Yet, there they can still pose a threat. By moving closer inshore, making ourselves known, contacting the locals and showing the mariners, fishermen and traders alike that we are there to ensure maritime security for all, we aim to make it very difficult for the pirates to go to sea in the first place.”