Puntland Maritime Police forces have seized six foreign fishing vessels together with several fishermen for illegally fishing in its waters, an official has confirmed.
The vessels which are registered in Yemen and Iran were captured by the coast guard following operations recently, according to the Puntland coastguard chief Admiral Abdirisak Dirie Farah.
More than 100 Yemeni and Iranian nationals were displayed to the media on Saturday in the port town of Bossaso.
‘’Iran and Yemeni fishermen have plundered our sea resources massively… we have managed to capture nine trawlers in the past few months,’’ said the commander.
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.
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.
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.
Published: October 17, 2015