SEYCHELLES HOSTS MAJOR ANTI PIRACY CONFERENCE
The Government of Seychelles in conjunction with the South Asia and Africa Regional Port Stability Cooperative are hosting a meeting to discuss added anti piracy measures and review existing measures already implemented. Observers are also on Mahe from other Indian Ocean island countries affected by piracy, from the European Union, the United States and Interpol amongst others.
On the agenda are such pressing issues as the impact of ocean terrorism on the cruise industry, trading in general and of course on the fishing industry. Operational responses too will be candidly discussed it is understood and will judicial responses to the menace, when pirates have been captured and need to be dealt with in a court of law. Placement of armed escorts on ocean going vessels traversing pirate infested waters too is being discussed, a measure the Seychelles in particular favour as, according to their Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon. Joel Morgan, not one ship such protected has been hijacked by pirates. The meeting is also seeking dialogue with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to create an environment of coastal surveillance and economic progress to prevent Somalis from taking to the seas to hijack ships and to offer viable alternatives to young Somalis to find gainful employment on land.
The Seychelles have been at the forefront of fighting piracy and have with the support of friendly nations increased the size of their navy and coast guard while also serving as a base for aerial surveillance and monitoring. Here they are using US Army UAVs as well as fixed wing aircraft deployed for the purpose of constantly flying over the vast Indian Ocean area and guiding surface vessels of the anti piracy coalition towards targets.