Posts Tagged Spain

Maritime Security: Spain Allows Heavy Weapons On Tuna Fishing Vessels

You know, out of all of the countries that I have followed, Spain has been one of those countries willing to work with private security and shipping companies the most to achieve a good level of security. Unless someone can point out a better arrangement?

Especially when Spain is paying grants to Tuna boats that cover 25% of the cost to hire security, or providing military training to that security, and most of all, allowing those PSC’s to use heavy weapons. That last one is a big plus for me, just because it reflects the reality of what is out there.

I also like the idea of placing conditions on these grants. Although why not just grant the Letter of Marque? But this is an interesting way of mitigating the principal-agent problem.  Here is the quote:

“No aid shall be granted in cases of breach of Community law, Common Fisheries Policy or legislation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity. In these cases the aid will be refunded depending on the severity of the infringement,” the Ministry added.

Armed guards on boats are having some fantastic success against piracy. We have a 100 percent success rate. But that is no reason to get comfortable or to not evolve and stay one step ahead. Today’s pirates are consolidating, they are innovating, they are attacking using wolfpack tactics, they are using NVG’s to attack at night, and they are using weapons of war.  With that kind of enemy, we must give today’s armed guards every advantage we can.  So with that said, I give Spain high marks for this new weapons policy. –Matt


Heavy weapons allowed in tuna fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean
September 28, 2011
In order to combat pirates’ action in the Indian Ocean, the Ministry of Defense of Spain authorized the use of large caliber weapons — 12.70 mm — in tuna vessels fishing in these waters.
So far, the boats have been able to carry weapons of 7.62 millimetres, but the current ones are much more powerful and they are usually anchored using some kind of support.
The measure was announced by Defence Minister, Carme Chacón, after meeting with representatives of tuna vessels and of shipowners of the Spanish fleet in the Indian Ocean.
Thus, Spain is the only country with permission to carry heavy weapons on board to fight Somali pirates, Diario Montañes reported.
The initiative will be implemented as soon as the Government of Seychelles comes to approve the protocol submitted by the Spanish government with details of the agreement.
According to Chacón, it is “almost imminent” to carry such weapons in the Spanish vessels.
When asked about the possibility of managing an operation similar to Atalanta in the Gulf of Guinea, following the increase of crime in these waters, Chacón dismissed it.

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Industry Talk: The New Mercenaries ‘Made In Spain’

     This is cool.  I got a Facebook friend request from a security company in Spain the other day, and I decided to do a little research on this market.  I couldn’t find anything in english, but I did find some stuff in spanish and I thought it would be cool to Google Translate some stuff and post it up here. This is from last year, but still pretty interesting.

     The point of this post is that this industry is global and it is massive. There is security contracting news going on all over the world and it is easy to miss.  My readership has definitely fed me all sorts of  stories from around the globe, and has even helped in translation or with the local vibe of their market. That is information gold to me, and I really enjoy filling the archives of the blog with those stories.  Check this one out and let me know what you think.-Matt


The new mercenaries ‘made in Spain’

Lucas Marco / Valencia

Thursday January 8, 2009.

Private military companies have been cropping up in the Spanish market. Formed by ex-military, they offer all kinds of services to businesses and governments in conflict areas worldwide.

Private military companies have been consolidated as a new actor in the conflict. An example is the massive presence of private contractors in Iraq with U.S. occupation troops. To the Professor of International Law and International Relations, Francisco Javier López Quel, the emergence of these companies “is part of a privatization process started in the early 90s that affects health or the prison system.” This generates “the outsourcing of basic services the state in relation to the defense” that involves “a change in structure of hosts.” The High Commissioner of United Nations Human Rights recognizes that “armed conflicts, terrorism, arms trafficking and covert operations by third Powers, among other things, encourage the demand for mercenaries on the global market.”

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Maritime Security: Somali Pirates And Armed Security Personnel In 4 Shootouts, Pirate Season Begins

     So according to this article, and the history of modern piracy in the GoA, this is the pirate season.  A perfect combination of weather and sea conditions are allowing pirates to do their deed.  And guess what?  Naval forces, as well as vessels that have armed security, are ready for them and giving the pirates a run for their money.

     From the looks of it, folks have been busy out there.  The one story to clue in on, is the results of putting armed security on Spanish tuna boats.  This was endorsed by Spain’s government, and it looks to me like this is working out for them. The pirates attacked their boats, and armed security repelled the attacks and called for backup.  Perfect.

     As for the Juicebox Commandos who continue to promote this idea that putting armed security on boats will cause an ‘arms race’ or is just ‘too risky’, is just dumb. It also shows a lack of compassion for the crews of these boats. The right to self defense is a basic human right that no one should be denied, and especially on the high seas.

     What is causing the arms race in my opinion, is the ship owners and insurance companies that keep paying these multi-million dollar ransoms to pirates, and in turn, the pirates are able to buy better and more lethal weapons and equipment for piracy ventures.  Until piracy becomes a high risk and low odds venture for them, they will continue to attack.

     Now that more and more boats are getting armed security and the navies of the world are finally getting aggressive, these pirates are starting to learn the hard way that their business venture is becoming increasingly more dangerous.  I think that is great news, and bravo to all the security forces out there that are dishing it back to these booger eaters. Bravo to the ship owners who care enough to put armed security on the boats. That is called ‘taking care of your people’, and that is the way it should be out there. –Matt


Somali pirates, security personnel in 4 shootouts



NAIROBI, Kenya — Swarms of Somali pirates are moving into the waters off East Africa, triggering four shootouts Friday including a skirmish with French military personnel that sunk a pirate skiff, officials said.

The end of the monsoon season and the resulting calmer waters signal the beginning of the most dangerous period for ships traveling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Nearly half the 47 ships hijacked off Somalia last year were taken in March and April.

Cmdr. John Harbour of the European Union Naval Force said a spike in attacks was very likely in coming weeks. But this season, ship owners and sailors are more prepared to try to evade pirates, fight back, or have armed security onboard, raising the likelihood of violence.

“We know the monsoon is over. We know they’re coming,” Harbour said. “We’re taking the fight to the pirates.”

In the most serious skirmish Friday, six pirates attacked a vessel before breaking off and chasing the French fishing boat Torre Giulia, Harbour said. Two other French fishing vessels nearby — the Jalenduic and the Trevignon — aided the Torre Giula.

A French military detachment onboard the Trevignon fired warning shots at the pirates, but failed to stop the attack. The Trevignon approached the skiff and collided with it, said Harbour, sinking the skiff and throwing the pirates into the water. Four were rescued and a military aircraft was searching for the other two, he said.

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Maritime Security: Security Contractors on Spanish Ship Thwarts Somali Pirate Attack

   That’s right!  This is the kind of good news I love reading.  The security contracting industry is answering the call and we are doing the good work of protecting these ships. No word on what company these guys worked for, but it has been in the news that Spain is really into using private security instead of military for protecting their fishing boats. –Matt


Spanish ship thwarts Somali pirate attack

November 29, 2009

MADRID — A Spanish fishing boat thwarted an attack by pirates in the Indian Ocean in the early hours of Sunday morning, Spain’s defence ministry said.

The pirates fired bullets and threw a grenade at the Spanish-flagged Ortube Berria, before being fought off by the ship’s onboard private security guards, the ministry said in a statement.

The attack happened at 5:37 am (0437 GMT) some 230 nautical miles (426 kilometres) southwest of the Seychelles.

“No injuries or damage to equipment have been recorded,” the ministry said.

Around 50 private security contractors were sent from Spain in mid-November to protect Spanish fishing trawlers from piracy attacks.

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Maritime Security: Spanish Tuna Boats to Hire Private Security

     Excellent news, and my hats off to the government of Spain in recognizing the fact that security for it’s fishing vessels requires more than just bad language or hoses and deck chairs.

    The right to defend yourself in international waters is something I support. When up against pirates armed with RPG’s, AK 47’s and PKM’s, it is totally reasonable for a vessel to contract the services of armed men to defend against that.  I also support posting military details on these vessels, if that vessel’s government has the resources to do that.  In this case, Spain has turned to the security contracting industry to help, and we will do just that.

    The alternative is to do nothing, and that is just unacceptable in my book. –Matt


Spanish tuna boats to hire mercenaries

September 17, 2009

by Alan Harten

The Spanish government has announced that it will allow its tuna fleet of fishing vessels operating near Somalia to hire mercenaries, or as they put it “Private Security” services, to defend the fishing fleet as it goes about its business in the notoriously pirate infested waters of the Indian Ocean.

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