Friday 8th December
2017 marks the ninth anniversary of EU Naval Force Somalia’s Operation
Atalanta, the successful EU Naval Force counter- piracy operation in the Gulf
of Aden and the Somali Basin, says a release.
anniversary comes soon after EU NAVFOR successfully apprehended, detained and
transferred suspected pirates for judicial process in the Seychelles.
the past eight years, Operation Atalanta’s mission has four aspects. Firstly,
the mission provides close escort protection by EU NAVFOR warships to the World
Food Programme shipments of food from Mombasa into Somalia. Secondly, the
mission is to deter and disrupt piracy within the Gulf of Aden and along the
Somalia Coast. Thirdly, it is to protect a variety of vulnerable shipping that
may transit through the precarious sea lanes. Finally EU NAVFOR continues to
monitor fishing activities in the region.
Atalanta has achieved much, including the establishment of the International
Recognised Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden. Other positive developments
include International agreements that allow regional prosecution of pirates
from Kenya and Seychelles and other states as well as the Shared Awareness and
De-confliction Conferences (SHADE) that have been extremely successful in
bringing together national navies not normally associated with the EU, NATO or
the Combined Maritime Force (CMF).
NAVFOR plays a vital role in encouraging the international community to respond
positively and proactively to the challenge of maritime piracy; recent
engagements have included visits from a Chinese delegation at sea as part of
Task Force ETG171, concludes the release.
According to EU NAVFOR’s website, since 2008 its assets have
disrupted 136 acts of piracy. The website defines a disruption as an
action that renders a pirate group incapable of further pirate operation.
The operation also boasts a 100% success rate in providing
protection to WFP and AMISOM vessels. EU NAVFOR has also conducted and
supported numerous Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) rescue missions in the area,
helping local, regional and international trading and fishing vessels in distress.
The ninth anniversary comes soon after EU NAVFOR successfully
apprehended, detained and transferred suspected pirates for judicial process in
In November 2016, the Council of the EU extended the Mandate of
Operation ATALANTA until December 2018.