Hassan Sheikh wants to curb illegal fishing in Somalia's coastline


MOGADISHU - Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has reverted to entering agreements with companies in a bid to curb illegal fishing along the 3,333 KM coastline which has been a menace for the last three decades after the country plunged into a civil war.

His effort comes just a day after he signed the Fisheries Development and Management Law which was approved by the bicameral legislature. He lamented the extreme depletion of the sea with foreign vessels always reported in Somali waters along the Indian Ocean.

"Tonight, as we speak, there are over a thousand ships in our sea, taking our fish and giving us nothing. The government is required to issue fishing licenses and agreements to ships fishing in the Somali ocean", he explained.

For the government to protect the ocean, he said, reaching out to private companies was necessary for partnership, noting that his administration is struggling to generate funds that can be used for the exercise. The companies, he added, offer a long-term solution for the menace.

"First and foremost, money is required to protect our ocean. We have to get that money from the sea; for example, we can give the company ten-year fishing licenses in our ocean and ask them to give us what we want."

On Monday, Hassan Sheikh signed eight Bills into law despite opposition from Puntland which pushed for the completion of the federal constitution.

Earlier this month, Somalia's Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy demanded that all foreign fishing vessels illegally operating in Somali waters leave the Somali Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] immediately and comply with Somali law and the conservation management measures of international law.

President Hassan Sheikh has even gone the extra mile to encourage neighboring states to join the country in fighting Al-Shabaab whose dominance partly encouraged piracy. Somalia is working hard to exhaust all avenues in ensuring it generates extra income from various natural resources.


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