EUNAVFOR hosts local Somali leaders
Concerns raised about IUU fishing off Somalia.
EU Naval Force Flagship ESPS Galicia Hosts Local Somali Leaders
On Tuesday 26 May 2015, EU Naval Force flagship, ESPS Galicia, hosted four local leaders on board. Meetings such as this, which take place at sea near to the Somali coast, help to build mutual understanding and trust between counter-piracy forces and the Somali population.
The leaders were greeted and welcomed on board by ESPS Galicia’s commanding officer, who gave a presentation about Operation Atalanta’s role off the coast of Somalia.
He explained how EU Naval Force warships and maritime patrol aircraft have deterred and disrupted acts of piracy, and are now, in cooperation with staff from EU sister mission, EUCAP Nestor, helping regional forces to develop their own maritime skills and capabilities to be able to protect their own coastline from piracy and other maritime crime.
During the discussions, the leaders highlighted a number of issues that they have, including concerns about non-Somali vessels fishing off their coast, and the incoming Monsoon season and the negative effect it has on trade.
The leaders praised the work done by the local coast guard to patrol the coastline and shared their vision of a stable and progressive country in the future.
Prior to leaving the Spanish warship, some of the leaders who had minor medical ailments, were treated by the on board medical team. They stated that they were truly grateful for the work that the EU Naval Force was doing to help keep the seas safer from pirate attack.