Somali fishermen at sea off the Horn of Africa have told the crew of Royal New Zealand Navy Ship (HMNZS) Te Mana they feel more secure knowing the frigate is conducting counter piracy operations in the region.
Interaction with fishermen at sea is an essential part of counter piracy operations because it reinforces to the local maritime community that CMF is committed to stamping out piracy.
HMNZS Te Mana’s specialist boarding teams have frequently visited small boats operating in the area to meet local mariners, share Best Management Practice information and reinforce the message that piracy does not pay.
Commander Shane Arndell, the Commanding Officer of HMZNS Te Mana said: “Local fishermen encountered by HMNZS Te Mana consistently say they feel safer with us operating in the area. This feedback reflects the reality of the success of CMF, NATO, EU and independent deployers in the region.”
He added: “New Zealanders can be proud of the work the officers, sailors, and airmen of Te Mana are doing off the coast of Somalia. Everyone we have come across has commented favourably on our being here, which enables the Somali fishermen to fish without fear of attack, and in turn shows that we are achieving the United Nations mandate to disrupt piracy at sea.”
The ship carries specialist equipment and personnel, including, boarding teams and rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), to allow her to carry out her counter-piracy mission.
Te Mana’s SH-2G sea-sprite helicopter has also conducted many hours of coastal intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to build an accurate picture of the maritime environment and deter criminal activity.
HMNZS Te Mana arrived off the Horn of Africa in late November 2013 to support Command Task Force (CTF) 151.