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Tuna fishing purse seiner the Albacan. (Photo: Tuna Seiners)

Basque tuna vessel fends off pirates

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Thursday, March 04, 2010, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

The tuna vessel Albacan, owned by shipowner firm Albacora Group, managed to elude another boarding attempt by a group of Somali pirates while it conducted fishing operations in the Indian Ocean.

The attack took place some 260 miles off the coast, near the border between Kenya and Somalia. The tuna vessel crew detected the presence of a speedboat from where a grenade launcher was fired. It reached the hull of the vessel without causing major damage or injuries.

At the time, the Albacan carried three security agents on board who were able to repel the pirate attack.

The crew is in perfect health reports a source from the shipowner company.

"The important thing is that nobody was hurt; the security worked and repelled the attack,” he added.

Albacora de Bermeo has operated since 1984 in the Indian Ocean with a fleet of five tuna freezer vessels and three auxiliary ships, EFE reports.

For now, this Spanish company’s vessels have been the victims of two hijacking attempts on part of Somali pirates: on 9 September 2009 against the tuna vessel Intertuna II and on 30 October of that year against the auxiliary ship Iria Flavia.

Last February, the Big Frozen Tuna Vessels Producers Association (OPAGAC) informed the Spanish Navy that good climatologic conditions announced for March would cause ‘a rise in the activity of pirates' in Somalian waters.

The calm of the sea notably facilitates attempts at boarding fishing boats and their subsequent hijacking, warned the entity.

After hearing the news, Spanish fishing ships planned to change the course set in Atlantic Ocean waters, in an effort to prevent Somali pirate hijack attempts while they work.

Related articles:

- Navy alerts tuna vessels of rise in Somalia piracy
Private security agents protect tuna vessels

By Analia Murias




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