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Gerhard Laubscher of FlyCastaway has announced his intention to resume mothership operations next March in the Indian Ocean around Providence Atoll in Seychelles. But a lot of anglers may be asking themselves, "Is it safe to go back in the water?" All motherships were shut down last year in Seychelles waters, you’ll recall, when Somali pirates hijacked and subsequently burned the Indian Ocean Explorer after holding the crew hostage for many months. The only Seychelles fishing operation we know of that remained in operation was the land-based operation on Alphonse Island.
Laubscher tells us that the situation along the Somali Coast seems to have stabilized. “Both the EU and the US government have recently pledged their support to aid in the fight against piracy in the region,” he says. “This will include a more visible naval presence, along with various monitoring efforts, including P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft and unmanned drone aircraft. Even more encouraging is the fact that there have been no reported incidents of piracy in the area since May 2009!”
Importantly, Laubscher went on to admit that a long period of calm weather and flat seas is about to begin in the region. “We will know soon if there are any pirates left in the area,” he says.
March is prime time for this region and Laubscher reminded us that the fish on Providence will have seen zero angling pressure for a full year when operations resume. Laubscher says he plans to use his own mother- ship, the MV Maya’s Dugong, this coming March. We’ll keep you posted on what happens….