Annex F: Additional Guidance for Vessels Engaged In Fishing

This guidance for vessels engaged in fishing has been provided by the following national fishing industry associations:

  • OPAGAC – Organizacion de Productores Asociados de Grandes Atuneros Congeladores.
  • ANABAC – Asociacion Nacional de Armadores de Buques Atuneros Congeladores.

Recommendations to vessels in fishing zones

  • Non-Somali fishing vessels should avoid operating or transiting within 200nm of the coast of Somalia, irrespective of whether they have been issued with licenses to do so.
  • Do not start fishing operations when the radar indicates the presence of unidentified boats.
  • If polyester skiffs of a type typically used by pirates are sighted, move away from them at full speed, sailing into the wind and sea to make their navigation more difficult.
  • Avoid stopping at night. Be alert and maintain bridge, deck and engine- room watch.
  • During fishing operations, when the vessel is more vulnerable, be alert and maintain radar watch to give maximum notice to your crew and the state authorities if an attack is in progress.
  • While navigating at night, use only the mandatory navigation and safety lights to prevent the glow of lighting attracting pirates, who are sometimes in boats without radar and are waiting.
  • If the vessel is drifting while fishing at night, keep guard at the bridge on deck and in the engine room. Use only mandatory navigation and safety lights.
  • The engine must be ready for an immediate start-up.
    Keep away from unidentified ships.
  • Use VHF as little as possible to avoid being heard by pirates and to make location more difficult.
  • Activate the AIS when maritime patrol aircraft are operating in the area to facilitate identification and tracking.


  • Managers are strongly recommended to register their fishing vessels with MSCHOA for the whole period of activity off the coast of Somalia. This should include communicating a full list of the crewmen on board and their vessels’ intentions, if possible.
  • Carry out training prior to passage or fishing operations in the area.
    Whenever fishing vessels are equipped with Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) devices, their manager should provide MSCHOA with access to VMS data.
  • Fishing vessels should always identify themselves upon request from aircraft or ships from any international or national anti-piracy operation.
  • Military, merchant and fishing vessels should respond without delay to any identification request made by a fishing vessel being approached (to facilitate early action to make escape possible, especially if the vessel is fishing).

In case of attack

  • In case of an attack or sighting a suspicious craft, warn the authorities (UKMTO and MSCHOA) and the rest of the fleet.
  • Communicate the contact details of the second Master of the vessel (who is on land) whose knowledge of the vessel could contribute to the success of a military intervention.
  • Recommendations only for Purse Seiners:
    • Evacuate all crew from the deck and the crow’s nest.
    • If pirates have taken control of the vessel and the purse seine is spread out, encourage the pirates to allow the nets to be recovered. If recovery of the purse seine is allowed, follow the
      instructions for its stowage and explain the functioning of the gear to avoid misunderstanding.