The 'Santa María' frigate, part of EUNAVFOR Atalanta, has participated in operation 'Mare Liberum III' along with other international vessels and assets from Japan, South Korea, Türkiye, the USA, Djibouti, Yemen and Canada.
This operation follows the removal on January 1st of the High Risk Area (HRA) in the western Indian Ocean; an area that was established more than a decade ago and had already been significantly reduced in 2015 by the international maritime industry's organisations.
The root causes and the structures necessary to carry out the attacks, although contained, remain on the Somali coast. Therefore, Operation Atalanta, as well as the forces integrated in the TF-151 that fight against piracy - which in turn is part of the Combined Maritime Forces- have carried out this operation to inform merchant traffic of the importance of keeping BMP5 (Best Management Practices 5) self-protection measures when transiting the area, as well as to use IRTC (International Recommended Practices 5), as well as using the IRTC (International Recommended Transit Corridor) and notifying the MSCHOA (Maritime Security Centre - Horn of Africa) of their transit through the area.
For five days, the vessels were deployed in different patrol areas, focusing their efforts on raising awareness among the merchant and fishing community of the continuing danger in the waters of the Western Indian Ocean, by means of different alerts on the radio channels of the Maritime Mobile Service.
During this period, the frigate 'Santa María' patrolled the waters of the Somali Basin and the Gulf of Aden, issuing warnings, checking compliance with BMP5 anti-piracy measures by merchant traffic, and carrying out a total of three friendly approaches to fishing vessels in international waters.