Friday, December 28, 2012
By ABDULKADIR KHALIF
The semi-autonomous state of Puntland says some of its nationals are helping foreign trawlers to illegally fish in its waters.
Fisheries and Marine Resources minister Mohamed Farah Wednesday said that many Somali nationals were working with foreigners fishing in the authority’s Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden waters and urged them to register to avoid being targeted.
The foreign trawlers were definitely engaged in illegal fishing, the minister said.
"It is imperative that the Somali fishermen working with the foreign boats register them (with Puntland State),” said Mr Farah.
"Otherwise, we will assume them as accomplices of criminal acts."
The minister said that up to 20 illegal trawlers were known to be active in Puntland waters and blamed them for overexploiting marine resources.
Somali coastal communities and authorities like Puntland have on many occasions accused foreign trawlers and ships of using illegal methods and operations to overexploit fish species.