HIGH-level talks aimed at securing a future fisheries partnership agreement between the EU and Somalia took place in Brussels on the 2 and 3 April.
The talks were brokered by Scottish Conservative Euro MP, Struan Stevenson. Stevenson arranged for the President of Somalia, His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, together with a team of Somali government ministers, to meet with Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki.
Speaking after the meetings, Struan Stevenson said: ‘Somalia has suffered from decades of civil war, terrorism and piracy. As a result, its 2,000-mile coastline is teeming with fish that have been virtually unexploited now for over 20 years.
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Maritime Security News Note:
The line: “As a result, its 2,000-mile coastline is teeming with fish that have been virtually unexploited now for over 20 years” flies in the face of pirate propaganda. They argue that foreign fishing fleets have destroyed their fish stocks and cite that as well as the “toxic waste dumping” as the main reasons for their move into hijacking vessels for ransom.
The recent decision by Puntland to ban all foreign fishing vessels from its waters, combined with foreign investment, may well bring dividends for the local fishing industry. Just need to persuade Somalis actually eat more fish…