Sunday October 25, 2015
Time and again illegal foreign fishing vessels are caught in Puntland and elsewhere in the country, but as usual the owners of these vessels pay out thousands of dollars or millions in bribes, and the boats are released and the public never hears again from the authorities and for these fish pirates its business as usual.
One can also observe the way in which these illicit fish pirates are mocking/travestying us, look at their smiles. One of them is so rude to the extent of showcasing the victory sign
This group are therefore responsible for at least 150 tonnes of illegal fishing a month not to mention the environmental damage they have caused – although the true extent of their criminality could be much higher.
In addition, many trawlers are actively carrying out further illegal fishing methods/ bottom –trawling / xaalufin undetected in Somali waters day in and day out.
A number or reports and research papers point out this trend of bottom –trawling causes substantial damage to important coastal ecosystems that are needed to sustain local fisheries.
The International Community has a moral duty to protect and assist poor Somalis affected by illegal and unregulated fishing and those caught in the act must be taken to an International Court.
Somalia is second tired of fishermen from Iran, Yemen, Thailand, Taiwan and Spain vacuum cleaning the Somali waters for marine lives. When our boys are caught in the high seas they are either killed or they end up languishing in foreign jails, so why on earth are we so naive in releasing these criminals that are denying our own poorly equipped fishermen their livelihood?
According to another U.N. report, an estimated $300 million worth of seafood is stolen from the country's coastline each year. "In any context," says Gustavo Carvalho, a London-based researcher with Global Witness, an environmental NGO, "that is a staggering sum."
The Puntland State of Somalia should hand over these criminals to UN agencies in the country, for the sake of neutrality and for the sake of internationalizing this menace that requires a global response.
Author: Ahmed Hersi, He can be reached at [email protected]