More security but still no troops for Spanish trawlers

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The Spanish defence ministry proposes stepping up security measures for Spanish fishing trawlers but refuses to allow soldiers on board the boats.

Madrid – Spain's socialist government Thursday offered to step up security measures for fishing trawlers faced with the threat of piracy, but again refused to allow troops on board the boats.

During a meeting in Madrid, the defence ministry proposed several measures to trawler owners and fishermen's unions, such as training private guards and transporting these guards to the Indian Ocean, a spokesman for the fishermen's association Cepesca said.

The government will also look into authorising boats to take on larger size weapons than they are currently allowed.

But it again refused to allow soldiers on the trawlers because Spanish law does not permit the military to be used for protecting private property.

Somali pirates have been holding a Spanish tuna trawler in the Indian Ocean since October 2.

One of the pirates told AFP Wednesday that they are demanding USD 4 million (EUR 2.8 million) for the release of the ship, the Alakrana, and its 36-member crew.

Spanish fleet owners have requested marines be stationed on board their fishing vessels, something they argue France has done since July.

AFP / Expatica

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