Pirates continue to call the shots on the Alakrana, a Spanish tuna fisher hijacked off the coast of Somalia.
But two of them have been captured by a Spanish frigate that is shadowing the vessel, along with a French frigate, both sailing under the flag of the EU as part of its ‘Atalante’ anti-piracy operation in the region. The men were captured after fleeing the ship in a lifeboat, and one was injured in the process. “We are going to do nothing to put the lives of the crew in danger,” says the operational commander General Jaime Dominguez Buj. 36 sailors remain on board. The pirates accuse the fishermen of illegally taking catches in their waters. Europe is trying to help Spain secure their release. “Spain is trying to do everything it can to resolve the situation, as is the EU and all the involved nations, even non-EU members,” said EU foreign policy head Javier Solana. For the sailor’s families any help is welcome, although some have been reassured that the pirates have allowed their loved ones to make short calls home, like this worried spouse: “It’s not the same when someone else tells you your husband is OK. It’s always a lot more reassuring to hear it from them.” The daughter of the Alakrana’s captain insists her father was fishing in international waters. Analysts say the taking of the ship is a sign after the end of the rainy season that the pirates are back in business.