Somalia will rebuild its Navy to protect the country’s territorial waters and marine resources and ward off illegal foreign fishing entities, Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte has said.
The deputy premier said on Wednesday the Navy will play a critical role in securing the country’s marine resources which have been encroached for many years by trawlers owing to lack of a strong marine force.
“It is the responsibility of our marine forces to ensure our marine territory and all resources thereof are protected from any illegal fishing. We will therefore invest in rebuilding the naval forces so that it can handle this task effectively,” said Arte in Mogadishu during the 51st anniversary celebrations of the Somalia Navy.
His remarks come amid concerns that piracy in the Somali waters may make a comeback following increased illegal fishing by international trawlers.
A report released by U.S. based Secure Fisheries last year pointed to increased illegal trawling with little intervention from the Somali government.
The report noted that foreign boats were hauling in three times more than Somali fishermen — an estimated 132,000 metric tons of fish each year compared to Somalia’s catch of 40,000 metric tons.