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Spanish Fleets Hire Bodyguards


SPAIN - The Government of Spain has approved direct subsidies for hiring private security onboard freezer tuna vessels fishing in the Indian Ocean, through a Royal Decree approved by the Council of Ministers.

These grants are aimed at all fleets authorised to operate in this ocean - which currently comprises a total of 17 vessels flying the Spanish flag.

The Government has decided to continue with these measures, which were approved in October 2010, in response to piracy in the Indian Ocean, which has altered the activity of the fleet. The effectiveness of this measure has been demonstrated over the past months, as pirates are put off attacking ships with private security on-board.

The possibility of defense vessels was considered, as a sufficient safeguard to contain boarding actions, and minimise the risk to staff.

The grant by the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairswill pay a maximum of 25 per cent of the total cost of personal services contract that is payable by the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, excluding travel costs, travel, weapons, ammunition and custody the same.

This amount may be increased to 50 per cent for those vessels whose home port lies in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

No aid shall be granted in cases of breach of Community law, the Common Fisheries Policy or legislation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In these cases the recovery of aid depends on the seriousness of the offense.