The owner of a Spanish fishing vessel seized by Somali pirates has begun negotiations to release the 26 Spanish and African fishermen on board, press reports said Friday in Madrid.
Earlier reports had said the pirates were asking for a ransom of one million euros (1.6 million dollars).
Spain's ambassador to Kenya has also held talks with the Somali authorities in the capital Mogadishu, who gave their backing to attempts to release the fishermen, dpa reported.
The Spanish frigate Mendez Nunez has arrived in the Horn of Africa, where a Spanish air force reconnaissance plane is also on alert in Djibouti.
The preparations for an eventual military rescue operation were aimed at pressuring the pirates into accepting a negotiated solution.
The trawler Playa de Bakio was seized in international waters five days ago.
It was taken to the Somali coast, and then reportedly back to open sea, because the pirates feared attacks by rival groups. The vessel was now positioned at about 150 kilometres off the coast, according to radio reports.
Spain meanwhile formally asked the United Nations Security Council to take measures against piracy in the Indian Ocean.
Spain was working with France, the United States and Britain towards a UN resolution aimed at preventing incidents such as the seizure of the Playa de Bakio, the daily El Pais said.