The Royal Navy works with a multinational task force to combat piracy through the Gulf of Aden and off the eastern coast of Somalia. Its purpose is to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy and protect ships going about their lawful business, securing freedom of the seas for all nations.
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to international trade and shipping for several years. Since 2005, many international organisations, including the International Maritime Organisation have expressed concern over the rise in acts of piracy.
Not only does piracy threaten the sea lanes, it has severe economic consequences, contributing to marked increases in shipping costs and impeding the delivery of food aid shipments. Ninety percent of the World Food Programme's shipments arrive by sea, and ships into this area now require military escort.
The Royal Navy has been working with international allies for several years, keeping a ship on station off the Horn of Africa, to deter pirates.
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