Somalia: Puntland Releases Foreign Boats Seized, Accusations of Backroom Deals Emerge
BOSASO, (GO) - Puntland maritime policy force (PMPF) recently seized six foreign fishing boats off the coast of Bari region for fishing without a permit. One boat was released, while the remaining five were docked at Bosaso Port and Bargaal.
The Bargaal Court sentenced one vessel, while the whereabouts of the remaining four remain unknown.
Abdulaziz boat, represented by Bashir Omar Sagaar, was fined $40,000 and required to pay for a fishing license from Puntland's Ministry of Fisheries.
However, according to an anonymous official, Garowe Online obtained information indicating that the finance and fisheries Ministries set free the other five boats after a secret deal.
The official added, "The only boat that was fined is represented by someone whose clan is not hailing from Puntland." The illegal fishing has significantly impacted Puntland's marine resources and destroyed the Blue economy.
Outgoing President Said Abdullahi Deni has been accused of not handling the matter transparently.
According to Somalia's Ministry of Fisheries, dozens of foreign vessels are in the country's waters, looting fish. Illegal fishing in the region has long been a major concern, with local authorities taking steps to prevent unlicensed boats from exploiting Puntland's marine resources.