Somalia claims Iran, Pakistan illegally fishing in territorial waters

An Iranian fishing dhow and a US Navy rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with an embarked visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) team in the Arabian Sea (Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joshua Keim)

The Somali federal government has alleged that vessels from Iran and Pakistan have been carrying out illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing in the country’s territorial waters.

The Somali Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources claims that 43 illegal fishing boats from the two countries have been sighted in the Puntland and Galmudug regions in northeast and central Somalia, respectively.

Officials in Mogadishu said that the boats will be pursued and their crews subject to heavy fines if they continue to engage in IUU fishing in the said waters. The federal government has also requested assistance from other countries’ anti-piracy forces in the apprehension of the boats.

Abdullahi Bidhaan Warsame, minister of fisheries and marine resources, asserted that the continued illegal fishing by foreign vessels in Somali waters would lead to a resumption of pirate activity in those areas.

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