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The fishing vessel Izurda managed to repel the pirate attack off Somali coast. (Photo: Stock File/FIS)

Basque tuna vessel repels pirate attack in Indian Ocean

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Friday, October 12, 2012, 23:00 (GMT + 9)

Sources of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (Cepesca) and of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama) confirmed that the ship Izurdia -- owned by the company Atunsa -- was attacked by a pirate ship 350 miles off the Somali coast.

According to what EFE news agency reported, security forces aboard the ship repelled the pirate attack, carried out by a skiff with six people on board.

The Izurdia continues its journey towards the Seychelles islands.

Cepesca believes the presence of security forces on fishing vessels has proved to be "very effective," because in the last year there were fewer pirate attacks in Somali waters.

The organisation also recalled that in the last quarter of the year (when the monsoon season ends) criminals’ attacks usually increase.

"From here to the end of the year, weather conditions will favour the pirate attacks. Hopefully, with security officers on board we will not have to regret incidents like the one experienced in the past by the Alakrana in 2009," added Cepesca’s spokepersons.

Data provided by the General Defense Staff indicate that between January and September 2012 there were seven hijackers, compared with 45 occurring in 2010 and 24 in 2011.

In this moment, 17 Spanish fishing vessels are operating in the Indian Ocean but if Spanish capital ships with flag from another country are added, vessels total 40.

The Izurdia, which is 108 metres long and was built in Murueta in 2004, repelled a pirate attack in September 2009.

The National Association of Tuna Shipowners (Anabac) ensured the piracy problem has not disappeared.

"We can not lower our guard. It is necessary to be very alert," he stressed.

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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