THE GHANA Navy has foiled attempted pirate attack on a fishing vessel on the country’s territorial waters off South Aflao in the Volta Region.
The tuna vessel, christened AFKO 80 was operating 105 nautical miles south of Aflao when the attack occurred on Monday October 11, 2021 at about 2am.
Ghana Armed Forces Acting Director of Public Relations, Commander Andy La-Anyane, said in a statement issued Wednesday October 13, 2021 and copied DGN Online, that they successfully warded off pirates onboard two speed boats who suspiciously approached a Tuna vessel.
According to him, the operation was carried out without any casualty to the vessel and its crew as the vessel continues to be engaged in its lawful fishing activities.
Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, recently stated that ransom negotiations had become the norm as kidnapping had become an attractive cooperative venture for pirates.
According to him, pirates often demanded nearly $50,000 minimum in ransom per crew member kidnapped.
He added that this was affecting Ghana’s fishing industry which recorded two separate attacks in June and August 2020, with two Koreans presently being held captive in the Niger Delta as the Korean Embassy in Ghana continued to negotiate for their release.
The Ghana Navy in recent times has doubled its patrols at sea to curb the numerous piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea making the country’s waters one of the safest in the Region.
“The Ghana Navy in recent times doubled its patrols at sea to curb the numerous piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea making our Exclusive Economic Zone one of the safest in the Region,” he assured.
The piracy situation in the Gulf of Guinea has created a sense of insecurity in the Region.
In Ghana, the Navy has strived to maintain adequate security at sea to enable a conducive maritime environment for national development. Fishing vessels have often fallen prey to pirates within the Region.
Meanwhile, 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.
Additionally, the Ghana Navy in its quest to curb this menace, decided to deploy armed naval personnel onboard 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 Ghana Navy, however, assures all vessels and their operators within the country’s maritime domain of the 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.
By Vincent Kubi