Puntland asks EU to reinforce efforts against illegal foreign fishing


Puntland has called on the European Union to bolster efforts at curbing illegal fishing on Somali waters noting foreign trawlers were continually denying locals access to fishing.

Puntland vice president Abdihakin Omar told reporters Thursday his administration was seeking more support from the EU to combat illegal unregulated fishing and dumping of waste in its waters.

“I am requesting the EU to help us more in combating illegal fishing, piracy and dumping of waste on our waters,” said Omar.

The EU’s Operation Atalanta has been operating in the Somali waters to deter and prevent acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.

Somalia has seen increased illegal fishing in the past and experts have warned of a possible resurgence of piracy as local fishermen gang up to deter illegal fishing.

In a 2015 report, the campaign group One Earth Future Foundation said illegal foreign fishers catch more than 132,000 tonnes of fish a year, compared to Somalia’s 40,000 tonnes. This, the report warned could lead to return of piracy in the Somali waters.