BY Abdirahman Hassan
A court in Mumbai, the largest city of India has sentenced 60 Somali fishermen to seven year in prison, The 60 men were accused of “piracy” in the Somali waters.
The 60 Somali nationals were apprehended in “anti-piracy” operations. They were also found guilty under the Indian Arms Act for illegal possession of weapons including 11 AK-47 rifles with magazines.
Piracy in Somalia started after Somali fishermen accused foreign vessel of illegally fishing in the Somali water, a claim backed by the Somali government. “The problem with our region is that if you talk about illegal fishing, you are seen as a criminal,” says a former anti-piracy officer who has now been fired because of what he claims is due to stating the fact.
The countries blamed for illegal fishing in the Somali water includes India, Iran, Philippine, these counties are said to have exploited the Somali water by illegally overfishing in the somali water.
Foreign vessels take three times more fish than Somalis do – they collect 132,000 metric tons each year compared to 40,000 by locals – another report released in September said.
It is reported that billions of dollars of sea food have been stolen from the Somali water in the past decades, according to U.N. report, it says an estimated $300 million worth of seafood is stolen from the country’s coastline each year.