A day after signing the Somali Fisheries Development and Management Law, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated that foreign vessels had been fishing illegally in the Somali Sea for the last thirty years.
President Mohamud declared on Tuesday night at an event in Mogadishu that people hear on the radio and social media that the sea is being depleted on a regular basis.
“As we speak, there are almost a thousand ships in our water, taking our fish but giving us nothing in return. Fishing licenses and agreements must be issued by the government to ships fishing in the Somali waters “He went on to clarify.
President Hassan Sheikh added that because the government lacks the funds to maintain the sea, it must enter into a long-term arrangement with the firms to allow them to fish legally in the sea. “To begin with, money is essential to protect our ocean. We must obtain that money from the sea; for example, we can grant the corporation ten-year fishing licenses in our ocean and request that they provide us with what we require.”
The president signed eight measures into law on Monday, including the Somali Fisheries Development and Management Law, over objections from the Puntland administration.
Earlier this month, Somalia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy requested that all foreign fishing vessels operating illegally in Somali waters immediately leave the Somali Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and comply with Somali legislation and international conservation management standards.
Many fishing vessels from other nations have been captured illegally fishing in Somali waters, according to data acquired by the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy. According to reports, the vessels have been operating in the Somali Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) since January 2023, posing a severe threat to the country’s sustainable fishing regulations, fish stock, and general marine ecosystem.
The Ministry has confirmed that the fishing vessels in question operate without Federal government access agreements or fishing licenses. According to Somali fisheries law and the country’s constitution, only the Federal government’s Minister of Fisheries and Blue Economy is authorized to give foreign fishing permits.