Puntland seizes Iranian crews and boats

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Photo | Iranian fishing crews under arrest in Puntland/Photo/Axmed Somali

29 April, 2013 BOOSAASO


Puntland’s marine forces on Wednesday seized five fishing boats with 78 Iranian seamen on board. They were allegedly fishing illegally off the coast of Sanaag.

The operation took place at Laasqoray. Twelve Somalis were also apprehended, accused of protecting the Iranian fishing boats. The marine authorities, who acted on a tip off from local fishermen, confiscated all the Iranians’ fishing gear and some weapons.

Confirming the incident to the press, the marine force commander Abdirizak Diriye Farah, said: “For sometime now, we have been receiving complaints from Laasqoray people of illegal boats fishing in Somali waters, destroying small boats belonging to the locals, tearing their fishing nets, and generally depleting the fishing resources.” 

According to Puntland’s deputy minister for fishery and marine resources, Muse Gelle Yusuf, the local fishing industry has declined over the past few months.  This is attributed to the prevalence of unlawful fishing off the coast and the looting of Somalia’s marine resources by foreign trawlers. Gelle said these daylight raids have depleted the local fishing trade and put many local fishermen out of jobs. He said Puntland marine forces would continue to guard against abuse by foreign fishing ships.

Ahmed Somali/FM/AM/LT



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