Somalia: Mayor vows to relentlessly fight against illegal fishing trawlers

Published: September 2, 2015

Somalia: Mayor vows to relentlessly fight against illegal fishing trawlersA mayor in the Somalia’s autonomous state of Puntland has issued a strong warning against illegal foreign fishing vessels plundering the waters off the coast of the region.
Saeed Aden Ali, the mayor of Bandar Beyla coastal town along the Indian Ocean vowed that they will not tolerate on the illegal fishing activities carried out by the trawlers.
‘’They are costing the lives of fishermen who have many families relying on them. We cannot just allow them to continue this and if they don’t stop, we will take harsh actions against them,’’ he threatened.
For decades, foreign trawlers from Europe and other parts of the world have traveled to Somalia waters to take what they can without permission or licenses. They use efficient mechanical equipment, taking massive numbers of fish stocks. It is estimated that Somalia looses more than $200 million per year because of these foreign trawlers, a huge amount that would be enough to build basic infrastructure in the war-ravaged nation
Local Fishermen have continuously complained about foreign trawlers who are doing the illegal fishing and dumping waste. Some fishermen have gone missing while others are tortured by the trawlers who at times spray boiling water from cannons.
Last year, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali described illegal fishing as a ‘’natural disaster’’. But influential Politicians and businessmen have been found of facilitating the illegal trade by bringing in trawlers to the regional seas from countries such as Iran, Yemen and other Asian countries.
Somalia waters, particularly off the coast of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland in the country’s North, contain some of the world’s most important stocks of tuna, anchovies, sharks, rays, lobsters, and shrimps, but they are barely monitored or policed, and wide open to legal and illegal plunder.
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