A Rainforest of Fish

"It's been like a long gold rush for Thai, European, Yemeni and Korean boats. We have some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Scientists say it is like a rain forest of fish. But our fishermen can't compete with the foreigners in big ships who come to steal from our waters." Abdulwali Abdulrahman Gayre, vice minister of ports and fisheries for Puntland.

Somalia holds a key strategical location. The Somalian coastline, the longest in Africa – over 2,000 miles / 3,330 km long, with coasts on both the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean – is a place that every ship travelling through the Suez Canal must sail past.

The waters around Somalia are also known as one of the richest sea resources in the world; the coastal waters are believed to be one of the most abundant and productive oceanic eco­systems in the world. And Somalia itself, is also a land rich in natural resources. There are untapped resources of natural oil and uranium. And it is all these resources that are now being fought over.

Predominantly European and Asian fishing boats are looting the waters off the coast of Somalia. Millions of dollars worth of tuna, sardine, shrimp, lobster and other sea­life is being stolen every year.

Many of the vessels doing the stealing are from countries that have already depleted their own reserves. Now they sail illegally into Somalia’s seas to ensure that they can catch fish and make a profit.

Other boats dump toxic waste in the same waters. Waste that is too expensive to dispose off legally.

However, the United Nations and the international 'community of nations' are pouring huge money and resources into counter‐piracy and counter‐terrorism actions rather than focussing on stopping over‐fishing and illegal trawling, or  those who are dumping toxic waste around the Horn of Africa.

The UN have passed several resolutions allowing the use of force against Somali 'pirates', both at sea and on land:
“...States and regional organizations cooperating in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia for which advance notification has been provided by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to the Secretary-General may undertake all necessary measures that are appropriate in Somalia, for the purpose of suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, pursuant to the request of the TFG” UNSCR 1851(6)
The Security Council in 2008 allowed a twelve month trial period for "States to use Land-based force in Somalia."

No money and resources are being poured into stopping the wealthy business owners of the IUUs (illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing vessels, both official lists and unofficial lists of these boats exist) nor the predominantly European companies  dumping waste in Somalia. These people appear to continue to fish and pollute with impunity. 
 Numerous countries have deployed warships in the area – the Horn of Africa is now one of the most heavily patrolled areas of the world. The warships are there to protect the world's ships ploughing those waters – the 'pirates' are a threat to world trade. Europe must have easy access to both cheap goods from Asia and New Zealand's agricultural products, but the real reason is deeper than that. There is a world fight for both the sovereignty of the seas and the control of Somalia's coastal and deep‐sea resources.

Somalia is under attack.

On the face of it, nothing seems to be happening to stop the destruction and desecration of Somalia.

Money and resources are not being poured into hunting the wealthy business owners of the IUUs (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing vessels), and warships and drones are not being used to stop the vessels dumping toxic waste – all the resources are being used to stop Somali 'pirates'.