December marked the end of the eighth year of EU naval operations off the coast of Somalia with the primary task of protecting World Food Programme (WFP) vessels from pirate attacks successful with not a single attack recorded. Operation Atalanta started in 2008 as the EU’s first ever military maritime operation in response to a surge in armed pirate attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa. The attacks, EUNavFor said at the time, were causing misery for seafarers and impacting significantly on international shipping with lost trade and higher insurance premiums costing the maritime industry billions. There were also growing concerns in the UN about the safety of WFP vessels delivering much-needed humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, to displaced people in Somalia.
Source: defence web