EU and Seychelles enter partnership for safe shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean


(Posted 08th July 2024)



The European Union, the Indian Ocean Commission and the Republic of Seychelles have partnered to increase the safety and security of shipping, both commercial as well as of cruise ships, in the Indian Ocean waters around the islands, one of the geographically widest zones in the region.

The three are now partnering in the Safe Seas Africa programme and the signing ceremony was done in Mauritius where the agreement was signed by the EU’s Ambassador acredited to Mauritius and Seychelles, H.E. Mr. Oskar Benedikt on one side and the Secretary General of the IOC, Velayoundom Marimoutou on the other side.

Cruise tourism is of key importance to the Indian Ocean islands, not just the Seychelles and Mauritius but also the other islands under the umbrella of the Vanilla Islands Organization such as Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte and the Comoros.

The Safe Seas Africa programme component implemented by the IOC will help consolidate and strengthen the achievements of the Maritime Security (MASE) programme. The programme is financed by the European Union through a regional maritime safety cooperation platform covering the entire western Indian Ocean, which was set up in 2018.

The EU Ambassador said following the signing ceremony: “The European Union plays a crucial role as a partner with the Indian Ocean in strengthening maritime security in this region. Illegal acts on the high seas pose serious threats to development, peace and stability in the region. Recent acts of piracy, drug trafficking, overfishing and other illegal acts are the challenges that need to be addressed. It is in this context that the European Union has made a commitment to the IOC to prepare the guidelines for the Safe Seas Africa programme and the actions that will be implemented in the region“.


#Seychelles remain at the forefront of fighting remnants of piracy


The initial agreements, signed in 2018 by the five members of the Indian Ocean Commission, as well as Djibouti and Kenya, have led to the creation of the Maritime Information Fusion Centre (MIFRC) based in Madagascar and the Regional Operations Coordination Centre (ROCC) based in the Seychelles.

Seychelles was at the forefront of the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean, perpetraged by Somali terrorists, and staged repeated rescue missions of vessels hijacked in Seychelles’ waters, as ATCNews reported at the time.

Find a link to an interview with the then Minister responsible for maritime safety and internal affairs in the Seychelles Joel Morgan which the ATCNews publisher had with him at the time:





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