Somalia: Puntland Coast guard rescues crew of sinking Yemen Fishing Vessel

Published: August 8, 2015

Somalia: Puntland Coast guard rescues crew of sinking Yemen Fishing VesselAll 34 members of a Yemen-based fishing vessel were rescued after their vessel sank off Somalia’s autonomous state of Puntland coast, an official has said.
Puntland coast guard launched a rescue operation on Wednesday night after receiving a distress call from local fishermen who came to realise the sinking of the ship in an area which is 5 nautical miles to the former pirate stronghold of Eyl.
The crew members were all transferred to the autonomous state’s capital, Garowe on Friday.
‘’We managed to rescue all the 34 crew members and have been transferred to Garowe. They are all safe. The ship sunk because of a problem with one of its generators,’’ said a Puntland coastguard officer.
The Al-Amal trawler — a commercial fishing vessel with North Korean flag — was sailing from Yemen to the Kenyan port Mombasa.
Puntland’s Director of Anti-piracy Abdirisak Mohamed Dirir agency had earlier said that the ship was one of the vessels doing illegal fishing activities, adding that it had been granted a false license.
Following the downfall of Somalia’s last functional government in 1991, the country’s 3,330 km (2,000 miles) of coastline — the longest in continental Africa — has been pillaged by foreign vessels. 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.
The absence of the country’s at one time serviceable coastguard, Somali waters have become the site of an international “free for all,” with fishing fleets from around the world illegally plundering Somali stocks and freezing out the country’s own rudimentarily-equipped fishermen, says a UN report released in 2006.
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