On Tuesday, 10 February, EUCAP Nestor Head of Country Office, Bo Holtse officially handed over equipment to the Chief Justice Office, the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG). The handover ceremony was attended by dignitaries from all three authorities as well as from International Organizations operating in the Seychelles.
The equipment was donated with the intention to support the different agencies dealing with maritime safety and security in their daily work, thus following the “ train and equip” credo of the EU. All equipment provided by EUCAP Nestor is closely linked to training courses and mentoring exercises by the Mission who has a pool of trainers as well as maritime, police and legal experts in the Seychelles’ Country Office and in its Headquarters in Djibouti.
Increasing the operational capability of Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG)
“One should not think that Maritime Security is only ensured by the presence of Navy and Coast Guard vessels patrolling at sea.” says Flavio Sanguigni, Maritime engineer who works as Maritime expert with EUCAP Nestor since more than two years. “Equally important are the land based logistics and maintenance structures that ensure the operational capability”
In this light, one objective of EUCAP Nestor – in close cooperation with the Seychelles Coast Guard, is to improve the conditions of the SCG workshop and warehouse for a more coherent and organic organization of spare parts combined with a new logistic inventory system.
To support this intention, 60 metres of heavy duty metal racks and storage drawers were donated by EUCAP Nestor and will be set up in the coming weeks. The improvements made to the workshop and storage area will also allow for the separation of materials that are not completely compatible. New tools, including welders, power tools and precision tools for the technicians working in the maintenance department will soon follow. Together with continuous mentoring and training this will help develop the maintenance capability of the SCG.
EUCAP Nestor also provided SCG with 1 defibrillator, 7 tanks and a portable Air Filling Compressor. This equipment intends to fill operational requirements of the SCG with regard to basic life support and underwater maintenance. To complement this donation EUCAP Nestor has developed an ambitious project that will further develop the technical skills of SCG divers. The projects is planned to be launched in the following months focusing on technical and safety aspects of underwater works.
In addition to the technical part of the donation, SCG also received 15 pieces of night-vision equipment (goggles) fundamental to night time operations at sea i.e. patrolling, boarding operations as well as Search and Rescue tasks.
“We are grateful to EUCAP Nestor for the continuous commitment to strengthen the maritime capability of the SCG,” says Lt Col Dine C.O. of the SCG. “These donations will allow us to better organise the logistic and the maintenance for our ships which is crucial to effectively do our work and to control our territorial waters and the EEZ”
Keeping in touch with vessels thanks to new transponders for the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA)
The SFA is another agency that is crucial for the Maritime Security system in the Seychelles.This authority has in fact the key role to manage and control fishing in the whole EEZ of the Seychelles. They recently collaborated with the Somali Authorities in order to help them set up a Fishing Authority that helps Somalia exploit their huge potential within the Blue economy and create alternatives to piracy.
“It is crucial, from a maritime safety and security point of view, that the activities at sea of Seychelles’ fishing fleet are constantly monitored. These VMS Transponders will be fully integrated with the existing system of monitoring of the SFA and will help to have a more complete maritime situation awareness within the EEZ”, said Cdr Giulio Piroddi , EEUCAP Nestor Coast Guard Expert.
To support the good work the SFA is doing, EUCAP Nestor donated 34 VMS transponders.
A transponder is a vessel tracking and telecommunication system comprising a portable GPS terminal and a web-based application. With this system, fleet managers as well as the SFA and SCG can access vessel positions at all times and communicate with them via Inmarsat (two-way messaging). These transponders are robust, easy-to-use, self-contained battery-powered units that display and emit its GPS position at regular intervals via satellite communication. They also feature an emergency panic button that makes the transponder a useful piece of safety equipment i.e. activated should a vessel carrying this device get in distress.
IT equipment for the Chief Justice Administration
“From crime to court” is the creed of EUCAP Nestor and implies cooperation with all agencies in the Seychelles that are relevant for Maritime Safety and Security. One of these agencies is the Chief Justice Administration who handles amongst others piracy cases and other maritime offenses.
A total of 25 workstations (computers and software) were donated to the Chief Justice with the intention to support administrative staff at the courts. The equipment will be especially relevant for the case management system during trial as it will facilitate the registration and consultation of cases.
“In addition to supporting the daily work in the court administration, these computers will also allow the Chief Justice administration to implement additional courses for staff on the case management system (CASS) and the use of MS Office applications. It will thus increase the efficiency and flexibility of the judiciary staff” said Bo Holtse who is the Head of EUCAP Nestor Country Office since summer 2014.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission, under the Common Security and Defence Policy, which assists countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean in strengthening their capacity to ensure maritime security and in particular to fight piracy.