Somalia to toughen fishing licensing procedures in unlawful context

Somalia to toughen fishing licensing procedures amid illegal activities in Indian Ocean

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia is on the verge of tightening up its fishing procedures, particularly along the Indian Ocean coasts, following endemic cases of unreported and unregulated illegal fishing. [IUU] fishing, a measure intended to permanently close the loopholes for future income expansion.

A recently released report by Axadlerevealed numerous incidents of massive corruption, deeply rooted in federal member states and the federal government, due to the lack of proper procedures for licensing businesses and fishing vessels.

In the report, senior officials of the FGS, including the Minister in charge of Fisheries and Maritime Resources Abdullahi Bidhan Warsame, were mentioned as part of the team charged with the clandestine mission of illegally authorizing certain companies even without appeal. official offers.

But ironically, Warsame now plans to streamline licensing procedures, which will remove the uncertainty caused by parallel FMS licensing, which it says creates loopholes throughout the exercise.

Somalia has a 3,333 kilometer coastline stretching from the Gulf of Eden to Kismayo, the regional administrative capital of Jubaland. But due to the lack of a stable government, fishing regulations have often been poorly coordinated.

Mohamud Sheikh Abdullahi, the director of fisheries, told the nation that a draft is ready for approval on licensing procedures, which integrates the role of federal government agencies into that of the country’s states, ensuring uniformity in l granting of permits for fishing operations in Somalia.

“Somalia has drafted a new fisheries law that will fill gaps in the federal power-sharing system and also address fisheries management, corruption, licensing systems and environmental protection,” he said said Abdullahi. “We are also strengthening intergovernmental coordination within our country and with other maritime agencies.”

Abdullahi said the new law will ease “confusion” that has turned into exploitable loopholes. Somalia has often struggled to monetize the blue economy, which could inject billions of dollars into its struggling economy.

“The confusion caused is due to the new federal structure which, as you may know, has yet to be updated to determine where federal and state powers begin and end,” he said. .

For decades, Somalia has remained a haven for IUU fishing operations and pirates, in part because of the lack of a regulatory framework to control fishing operations, and also a lack of capacity to do so. comply with legal obligations arising from a ten-year civil war that has resulted in impunity for Somali-based gangs that have thrived on piracy and IUU fishing.

In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned that Somalia does not have precise data on the fishing operations of its artisanal fleet.

“This has allowed activities such as piracy and illegal fishing to flourish in the waters off the Horn of Africa region,” FAO said.

The lack of accurate and up-to-date information on Somalia’s fishing industry means that the federal government and federal states have no understanding of the country’s fishing industry value chain and cannot effectively support the eradication of piracy and IUU fishing operations, FAO said. .

FAO, in partnership with the European Union, previously supported Somalia in registering 3,108 of the estimated 6,500 fishermen operating on the coast of Northeastern State, a federal state in northeastern Somalia. The registration, which was done through a biometric system, collected vital personal information about each fisherman, including photographs and fingerprints, according to the FAO.

“This information will be used to develop special identity cards, which will be worn by fishermen at sea and will also serve as a critical database for the Ministry of Fisheries, Security and Anti-Piracy Forces, both local and international, and local fishermen’s associations as they collect data on the exact number and location of fishermen in the region, ”FAO said.

It is unclear how the government will deal with unscrupulous businessmen inside and outside government, who have often been linked with illegal fishing activities. Despite the presence of numerous reports linking senior officials to businesses, the government has done little to locate them.

The opposition has previously accused outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo of allowing his associates to abuse government resources. In the ongoing campaigns before the elections, such cases have been brought to the public light by a disgruntled opposition.

AXADLETM

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