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Somalia flags over 100 Iranian vessels fishing illegally

Thursday June 25, 2020

MOGADISHU (HOL) - Over 100 Iranian vessels have been fishing illegally in Somali waters between January 2019 and April this year, the government has said noting the number could be way higher owing to low detection.

“Between January 2019 to 14 April 2020, approximately 112 Iranian fishing vessels were identified transmitting on automatic identification system (AIS) transponders from within the Somalia EEZ for a total of 2533 days,” the Ministry of Fisheries said Wednesday.

A further 83 AIS net markers were also linked to Iran, the Ministry said noting at least 192 vessels have been operating illegally inside the Somalia and Yemen EEZ.

Fisheries Minister Abdullahi Warsame warned against the activities and called on Iranian authorities s to cooperate. “Illegal fishing will not be tolerated in Somalia.

The situation related to presence of the Iranian fleets in Somalia waters, remains a longstanding concern of the Federal Republic of Somalia,” said Warsame.

The vessels, the government said, ‘appear to be originating from and using a number of different ports in Iran including Port Konarak, Banda-e Jask, Port Tiyab and Ramin.

A report by the campaign group Secure Fisheries in 2017 said up to 2.4 million tones of fish have been caught in Somali waters illegally in the last 60 years.

Somalia formally licensed 31 Chinese fishing vessels in November 2018 at a cost of $2.5 million under the new fisheries law.


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