Mareeg Media
Somalia

Local fishermen in Puntland complain of growing illegal fishing vessels on their coasts

Local fishermen in Bargal district near Cape Guardafui in the
autonomous Puntland state of Somalia, have complained strongly about
the escalation of illegal fishing on their coasts.

Yusuf Salad abdurahman, speaking on behalf of local fishermen, told
local media that residents of Guardafui Regions are suffering from
foreign illegal fishing trawlers that cut and shovel nets and fishing
gear belong to local people.

He added that local fishermen avoided the places of foreign trawlers,
but this time they crossed the border and became close to the coastal
cities and villages and reached the edge of the coasts and became
threatening local fishermen to destroy their equipment and cut their
nets, regardless of the physical danger to some fishermen trying to
get away from them, in addition to the Economic Effect when replacing
a single net which costs an income of one month or more,

Many of these vessels are believed to be exploiting Somalia’s
fisheries illegally. Offenses include fishing without a license,
Fishing in areas reserved for artisanal fishing , using banned fishing
gear that is destructive to the fisheries sector, catching beyond
limits, or catching protected species. Even licensed vessels regularly
do not report catches as required. Those that do often under report
their actual intake.

These problems are exacerbated by inadequate monitoring and
surveillance efforts to insufficient monitoring and supervision
efforts by the fisheries ministry in Puntland and Somalia, as well as
collusion between foreign fishing companies and ministries responsible
for regulating fishing in the country. Sometimes political leaders in
power have direct financial interests in joint ventures with foreign
fishing companies

Fishing agreements are frequently opaque keeping basic information
from public view, such as who is allowed to fish, how much they pay,
and what they catch.

The problem of unauthorized fishing has become a dilemma and has
reached enormous levels for countries experiencing armed conflict,
where fishing authorities barely operate.

The coast of Somalia is a breeding ground for dozens of ships owned by
Yemeni, Iranian, Korean, Chinese and European companies fishing
without permission, where there is an absence of an effective central
licensing system in the past three decades in Somalia

Finally ,The situation in the coastal areas of Puntland and somalia
is now difficult , with large groups of local fishermen reluctant to
continue their profession, which they have literally worked on and
inherited from their ancestors.

The situation may foreshadow something else or may be it is the lull
before the storm

Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed
Freelance Journalist/Writer
Baargaal Guardafui

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