Pirates are claiming in news reports that the captain of the vessel has died of gunshot wounds, but there's been no confirmation of that so far.
After more than a month of contentious negotiations Somali pirates released a Spanish vessel Alakrana Tuesday. The ship was hijacked, also off the coast of the Seychelles on Oct. 2.
Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero confirmed the tuna trawler was released but would not confirm whether a ransom was paid. Pirate spokesmen told news agencies that they received over $3 million for the safe release of the 36 crew members.
The pirates had also demanded that two pirates being held by the Spanish government be released, but r Zapatero said the case would be handled by the justice system.
Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the Fifth Fleet told ABC News that ships cannot rely solely on navy and military patrols to protect them. The Indian Ocean area most prone to piracy is roughly four times the size of Texas.
"We can't be everywhere at once," he said. "It's incumbent on individual shipping companies that they are able to either conduct evasive maneuvers or use embarked security teams or even use such things as fire hoses to prevent attacks."
Linda Albin, Luis Martinez, and Kirit Radia contributed to this report.