The crew of a French Falcon 50M maritime surveillance aircraft helped intercept an illegal fishing vessel off the coast of Senegal.
On 18 March, the French Navy aircraft, based in Dakar, carried out a fisheries and pollution monitoring (SAGNE) patrol in the Gulf of Guinea in collaboration with Senegalese forces. They detected a fishing vessel without a license, the French Ministry of Defence said.
With further instruction from the Senegalese Fisheries Protection and Surveillance Directorate (DPSP), the Falcon 50M guided the Senegalese patrol vessel Kedougou to the area so that it could intercept the vessel. Kedougou launched a boat with a boarding team.
The French MoD said the fisheries policing mission came six days after a first patrol, carried out on 12 March, by the Falcon 50M detachment in cooperation with the Spanish frigate Furor.
During these two operational patrols, the Falcon 50M again demonstrated its efficiency and its perfect interoperability with the surface vessels of partner nations, the French MoD said.
“In this regard, the first patrol concretely illustrates France’s support for the maritime security architecture resulting from the Yaoundé summit (2013). In addition, the second patrol highlights the concept of Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP), which refers to a mechanism for coordinating naval resources and cooperation actions of its voluntary member states (France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Denmark) in the maritime area of interest represented by the Gulf of Guinea.”
Since August 2011 France has hundreds of personnel in Senegal to ensure the security of French interests and nationals (EFS – French Elements in Senegal).