The Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources has taken several steps to counter the threat of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities which poses significant challenges to both livelihoods and marine resources across Somalia.
It amended the regulations governing the fishery sector, increased maritime coordination and joined in regional organizations and taskforces to actively enforce actions and eliminate IUU in Western Indian Ocean.
On October 7, the Federal Government prosecuted Greko 1, a Belize registered fishing vessel, after investigations and fined it for engaging an illegal fishery in the coast of Somalia. A collaboration with regional states, through Fish-i-Africa – an initiative that combines eight states to combat illegal fishing – has made it possible for Somalia to enforce its maritime laws. Clearly, the Government of Kenya, EU, USAID and FAO were all instrumental in tracking and identifying these IUU vessel operators and for that we express our gratitude.
“I can confirm today that the Central Bank of Somalia received a payment in full of the fine levied on the Greko 1, for offences committed in contravention of the Federal fisheries laws” said Deputy Federal Minister H.E. Mohamed Said Jama from the Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources. Jama has also praised and acknowledged the role of Kenya for playing a pivotal role in enforcing actions.
In addition, Mr. Abdirazak D. Warsame, the Director General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, expressed his appreciation to donors and partners for planning to introduce an advanced Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) in 2017 “to fight IUU as well as other crimes, including weapons, drug and human trafficking in Somalia waters.”
The Ministry aims to promote sustainable development and trade in the marine sector to generate employment opportunities and economic growth for all citizens. While investment in Somali fisheries and regulatory compliance are encouraged, unsustainable fishing methods with adverse impact to the marine ecology and illegal operations are not.
Furthermore, the Ministry intends to build on the achievements made so far by increasing enforcement and development of robust measures to prevent IUU fishing. Thus, sharing data and information between states will certainly contribute to that goal as we build a more unified front against IUU activities.
The Ministry calls for more actions from the International Community to assist efforts for tackling IUU fishing in Somalia. It also calls for INTERPOL and other law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute, specifically, criminals involved in illegal fishing, including the supply chain and associated crime networks in the region.
Source:Ministry of Fishers and Marine Resource