Spanish naval ship ‘neutralises’ illegal whaling ship off Somalian coast

NEUTRALISED: The Castilla destroyed the illegal vessel with ease. Photo Credit: EU Navfor

A SPANISH naval ship has stopped an illegal whaling ship off the coast of Somalia as part of ongoing efforts to tackle piracy off the Horn of Africa.

The Castilla assault vessel intercepted the whaler near to Somalia’s coast line last Saturday morning. A helicopter from the Spanish ship spotted the vessel, and after personnel confirmed it was a whaling ship the Castilla “neutralised” it, the Ministry of Defence said.

The Castilla is currently taking part in Operation Atalanta, a European Union (EU) effort to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.


The operation was launched in 2008 after a surge in attacks on commercial ships.

The Castilla is a Galicia class vessel. It weights some 13,000 tons, is 165 metres long and carries a crew of 190. It is armed with several machine guns and an anti-missile defence system.


  1. I’ll leave my opinion here:
    I don’t think that the war effort in Somalia is working, because of the following reasons:
    1. The Somalian public or the militias in Somalia don’t give a rat’s ass about international conventions, and in this they’re right. Who would invoke international conventions in the favour of Somalian people? who?
    2. The NATO or operation ATALANTA or even the Somalian government has no authority or legitimacy to impose anything in these waters, no one has, until there’s a brokered and standing peace agreement involving all parties.
    3. Assuming the article holds any air in it, can we assume the ship sunk is civilian? is that not an act of piracy itself? whatever.. as if conventions matter in war zones anyway, in practice at least..
    4. A navy sinking a civilian ship still is the same thing as pirates sinking some billionaire’s yacht, literally. It’s not like such an act is not a war crime.
    5. If these sorts of things really go on out there, don’t you think that it manufactures more enemies rather than helps the situation?
    6. The war has gone on since 1992. How many years is that? Don’t you think that it’s the Somalians who are the ones being oppressed? and who’s winning and why? did you know that the original reason why the conflict started is that Siad Barre were accused of depriving the people of Jubaland of investment? this is the reason why there are pirates, Al-Shabaab and all the circus.
    7. Whales, for real? I doubt that this article is true. The first thing that dies during wartime is the truth. There must be something more to the story than only whales. Most of the time there is. No one is clean during a war, or if they are they’re stupid.
    8. How many civilian victims are there in total due to the conflict including famine? even if it were a whale.. people need to eat.

    So.. I suggest first make peace, then worry about the consequences, of this conflict, such as the above listed one there.

    • Whaling ships off the coast of Somalia probably aren’t hunting for whales, but having whaling equipment makes piracy much easier. I’ll let you google that yourself.
      Famine in Africa is chiefly self inflicted – dictators, war lords, and lots of tribal stuff against each other. Africans need to sort it out and knock it off. The ignorant, incompetent days are long gone; the people of Africa are every bit intelligent, talented, and worldly wise as anyone else. The West isn’t going to save East Africa, they’ll have to do it themselves. Until then, quit being criminals in international waters.
      International waters, piracy, and national self defense – google that, too.


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