Piracy crackdown boosts IUU fishing
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing returns to Somali waters.
A Crackdown on Somali Pirates Has Made Illegal Fishing Safe Again
Piracy was good to Omar Hassan.
The skinny Somali fisherman in his mid-20s throws his head back and rolls his eyes when he recalls better times thanks to pirates. “There were way too many fish,” he says, laughing. Five years ago, Somali pirates were attacking foreign ships on a near-daily basis, which scared off the unlicensed European and Asian fishing vessels that for years ravaged Somalia’s seas. Somalis felt safe to fish anywhere, and marine stocks grew.
Hassan started fishing in 2000 at the age of 10—it is all he knows. But last month, he quit. Piracy is dead, thanks to the multilateral effort to stamp it out, and the unlicensed foreign fishing vessels are back. Just as piracy was good to the fishermen of Somalia, Hassan says, NATO’s $75 million anti-piracy task force has been good to those looking to plunder her seas.
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