Development Minister Heikki Holm√•s met convicted pirates in a Seychelles prison on June 28. Holm√•s visited the island-state to sign an agreement providing for imprisonment in the Seychelles of pirates detained by the Norwegian frigate¬†KNM Fridtjof Nansen,¬†which is on anti-piracy duty¬†in the Indian Ocean.
More than 20,000 merchant vessels pass through the troubled waters off East Africa each year, many of them Norwegian-owned. Despite international efforts, the mostly Somalia-based pirates remain a serious threat to shipping.
Holm√•s, who also visited Somalia on his trip, insists that battling piracy is not just about protecting ships and sailors, but also contributes to stabilize the war-torn Somalia.