I am emailing to draw your attention of of a serious debate about piracy, illegal fishing an other associated illegal activities.
I am currently working on a paper entitled 'Ticking Bomb: Piracy, Toxic Waste and Illegal Fishing in Somali Waters' which is aimed at publishing a position paper.
Western Indian Ocean marine resources are some of the most diverse in the world and they are of significant importance to the environment and socio-economy of coastal states.
An average of 70 foreign-owned vessels engage in illegal fishing in Somali waters every month one estimates suggests. According to MARG, the loss of revenue from illegal fishing exceeds 100 million dollars per annum and endangers ecosystem equilibrium.
Rampant piracy and the subsequent naval build-up in Somali waters also have serious environmental and resource implications.
Lack of sustainable peace, a high level of regional conflicts, ineffective short-lived governments, factional wars, clan rivalry, sectarianism, inadequate infrastructure, lack of know-how and weak civil society make the problems of tackling piracy, illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping seemingly intractable.
There is a real need for the development of coherent and rigorous interventions to prevent, deter, and eliminate not only piracy but also all illegal activities in the region.
The response of the international community’s key stakeholders towards Somalia with regard to marine conservation and maritime security is inadequate. They focus only on piracy while blatantly ignoring the root causes of the problems, i.e. illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping in Somalia’s territorial waters.
This is aimed to analytically analyse, debate and discuss. It attempts to stress the impacts of insecurity on the environment and resources and it also highlights the negative implications of the build up of naval forces combating pirates in the region.
Thank you in advance
Dr. M. G. Hassan,
Somali Fisheries Society