The situation in the Red Sea
On November 19, the Yemeni rebel movement the Houthis launched a series of attacks on civilian shipping off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea and the western part of the Gulf of Aden. Ships have been attacked with missiles and drones and attempted hijackings.
Several Danish-related ships have also been the target of attacks.
As a consequence of the unsustainable security situation, there are currently far fewer ships through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal than usual. The situation develops from day to day, and therefore the shipping companies that still sail in the area make a thorough risk assessment and examine each individual case very carefully.
An international coalition led by the United States has established Operation Prosperity Guardian to restore maritime security in the area.
The USA and England, in collaboration with a number of other countries, have carried out a number of targeted attacks on the Houthis' infrastructure and capabilities in the area.
Denmark will contribute to Operation Prosperity Guardian with a frigate. Furthermore, it has been decided on the Danish side that it will join the coalition of countries that have carried out bomb attacks on the Houthis' infrastructure and capabilities in the area. In this context, Denmark sends a staff officer.
On February 19, 2024, the EU decided to launch the naval operation ASPIDES with a mandate to protect shipping and the freedom of navigation in the area in close collaboration with the international partners already present. The Danish Parliament had previously authorized the Danish frigate to participate in an EU mission.
Danish Shippings position:
The Houthis' attacks on seafarers, merchant ships and the free navigation of the world's oceans are completely unacceptable.
The most important thing for us is that our seafarers must be able to sail safely through the Red Sea without fear of attack. The seafarers' families must be able to be sure that they will get their loved ones back home safely.
Denmark is a small country but a large maritime nation. Therefore, Denmark must of course contribute to defending the right to free navigation. Therefore, we also support the fact that Denmark is part of the international Operation Prosperity Guardian and has chosen to send a frigate to the area. We hope that this will contribute to merchant ships being able to safely and securely resume sailing on the important route through the Red Sea.
We have full confidence that the participants in the international coalition will do what is necessary to re-establish security and stability in the Red Sea.
We are proud that Denmark is taking the lead in protecting our seafarers and free navigation on the world's oceans.
Facts about the Suez Canal:
· One of the world's most important maritime shortcuts that annually lets 12 percent of world trade slip by.
· Approx. 2,500 Danish-operated ships pass through the area annually
· 50 large merchant ships pass every single day - 365 days a year - and thus save the trip south of Africa. A detour of approximately 6100 kilometers if you take the trip from Shanghai to Rotterdam. These are different ship types (container, tank, bulk, etc.).
· A whopping 75 percent of the goods we import to Denmark are shipped here. And 80-90 percent of world trade is transported on one of the ocean's blue highways.