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Noticias de interés

Somalia: Chinese Deal Angers Fishing Communities, Sparks Concerns Over Sovereignty and Piracy

Fecha de la noticias: 09/02/2019 • Publicada: 09/02/2019 

This Russian-made trawler, seen in the Gulf of Aden, is suspected to be a mother ship from which Somali pirates operate, says the International Maritime Bureau.
A new fishing deal signed between the Somalia government and vessels tied to the China Overseas Fisheries Association raises serious questions. Some Somalis, particularly those in the fishing community, worry that their livelihoods will be gutted, while others fear a return of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

"It"s shocking to see the ministry of fisheries signing such a one-sided contract with a Chinese company," said Abdirizak Mohamed, a Somali MP representing the coastal Hirshabelle region, 40 kilometres north of Mogadishu, the capital. "It actually gives China the advantage," he told RFI.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Somalia Fisheries Ministry website, this deal allows 31 Chinese long line vessels to fish for "tuna and tuna-like species" for one year, a deal automatically renewed each year. The boats will be able to fish 24 nautical miles from shore within Somali territorial waters.

While the agreement requires the use of trackers so that vessels stay within the nautical boundaries of the deal, there is serious concern that the Somali fishing community will lose out because the ministry will not be able to monitor the catch. Some people are also concerned that the use of trackers will not go far enough to ensure the boundaries outlined in the deal are respected.

"I don"t see any credible Somali control mechanism emerging in the foreseeable future. This has to be based on the trust between the Chinese government and the Somali government - it"s a long shot," said Stig Jarle Hansen, professor of international relations at the University of Life Sciences in Oslo.

"Indeed, a lot of the countries in East Africa that haven"t experienced a civil war don"t fully control their offshore territories, either," said Hansen, who added that a strong navy needs to be in place in order seriously to stop overfishing.

Prof. Abdi Ismail Samatar talking about the robbery of Somali waters by foreign fishing vessels.Now @fisheriesSOM legalize it by signing deals that lack transparency. It"s free for China to fish, overfish and deplete fish stocks under licence! That"s not legal. That"s stealing

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