Ghana Navy averts attack on fishing vessel in Aflao

The Ghana Navy has warded off pirates who wanted to attack a Tuna vessel operating in the south of Aflao.

The operation ended without any casualty to the vessel and its crew.

Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea have become a noted criminal activity and have been of increasing concern to the maritime sector.

Recent attacks are becoming more widespread and violent.

In June 2020, a Ghanaian fishing vessel, the Panofi Frontier, was attacked and its crew taken hostage.

The vessel was fishing in Benin waters when it was attacked by the pirates, who captured six crew members; five Koreans and one Ghanaian.

A report, by the International Bureau on Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships, suggests that there were at least 10 separate piracy attacks off Ghana’s coasts between 2015 and 2019.

The Gulf of Guinea is noted as a hotspot for piracy, accounting for the vast majority of sea-going hostage seizures and kidnappings globally, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has said.

The bureau has noted that though piracy incidents have reduced in recent times “the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a concern for piracy and armed robbery-related activities with kidnappings of crew members increasing in both scale and frequency.”

“It is important that shipmasters and owners continue to report all actual, attempted, and suspected incidents to ensure that an accurate picture of these attacks emerge and action is taken against these criminals before the incidents further escalate,” it warned.

In a bid to curb this menace, the Ghana Navy deployed armed naval personnel on board fishing vessels.

“The Ghana Navy in its quest to curb this menace decided to deploy armed naval personnel on board fishing vessels in consultation with stakeholders in the industry, all aimed at ensuring a safe and secured maritime environment for the smooth operations of fishing and commercial vessels,” the Navy added in the statement.

“The Ghana Navy…assures all vessels and their operators within our maritime domain of our eagerness to protect all those engaged in legal businesses and also accost all those engaged in illegalities. The Navy, therefore, seeks the cooperation of all partners to enable the nation to achieve a safe maritime environment for national development,” a statement from Ghana Navy assured.

The Chief of the Naval Staff recently visited his counterparts in Nigeria, Benin and Togo as a way of seeking their cooperation to combat the regional menace.

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