Somalia has experienced dramatic environmental shifts following decades of insecurity and chaos in the country. The country’s 3,300-km coastline virtually unprotected, industrial fishing vessels from Europe and Asia have entered the area in large numbers and are plundering Somalia’s rich maritime resources.
Dynamite fishing is under way and its a very serious problem in Somalia. The residents in Harar-dhere say the corrals that used to slacken the force of the sea waves have been destroyed by dynamite fishing. Other areas like Gaan near Galgaduud and Qoriya near the crosslink of the Indian Ocean and red sea are also infamous for the crime. According to some residents, the crime is committed openly with the knowledge of law enforcers but it seems no authority is willing to take stern measures to end the crime.
Ali Hirsi Ali, a resident of Harar-dhere has been a fisherman since 1993, using line and hook. His daily income varies between 13,000/- and 30,000/- but he admits that the size of the catch has been going down over the years. He attributes this to groups of people who blow up corrals in order to manufacture lime which they sell as building material.
The fisherman adds that destroying the corrals also leads to destruction of sea-grass. “Corrals are homes of fish and other marine creatures. Sea-grass is their food and when these two are destroyed, the fish have no-where to live and nothing to eat. They shift to other areas far away from here where it is safe for them,” explains Hirsi.
“They are responsible for the reduced fish catch that we are experiencing now,” he added Hirsi explaining their plight to environmental journalists association of Somalia better known as SOMESHA.