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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sat Nov 01 2008 - 19:11:07 EST



      (Mareeg)09:15:17-Published: November 1, 2008 -->

      This method of hosing with hot-water the little Somali fishermen was a kind of sports engaged by the bigger much equipped Tuna, Shark fin and lobster and shrimp fishing fleets operated Russians and former Soviet Union crewmen which work for Asian businessmen such as Chinese, Taiwanese, Philippines, Pakistanis, Indians, Russians and European Union.

      It was not a laughing matter for the Somali fishermen who were no match for the much equipped trawlers that were illegally fishing undefended and unregulated waters of Somalia. There were daily deaths and funerals among many fishing villages and towns dotted along the Somali coastline called "hosing by hot water". These mega ships were fishing and processing at the same time and any competition from the villagers were treated ruthlessly.

      The Somali fishing communities were also struggling toxic carrying ships abandoned and left in their shores that are carry dangerous industrial waste. When villagers came into contact, residents became blind; some later had children with birth defects. Some villagers have to migrate and move to cities as their villagers became uninhabitable due to the toxins oozing from these ships.

      The shores also become unlivable because some of the ships were throwing thousands of Shark carcasses into the sea after their fins have been cut off and drowned and these majestic sharks were coming into shore and getting rotten in the village shores. The smell was so terrible that many residents were vomiting and getting sick. The residents of these towns such as Garacad, Jariiban, Idaan etc were getting sick of these utter disregard for their culture, way of living and they were scared for their lives. It was also traumatic for them to see such a death and destruction of living things, these villagers have all their lives co-existed with sea mammals which their lives depended and have never seen the scale of destruction that these illegal fishers were causing.

      An entire shore line would look like red for entire days; this was not blood but eggs of lobster shaven from the processing. This caused the villagers to go hungry because the marine mammals has been depleted by these ruthless commercial fishing that adheres to no human laws of legal fishing or cultural habits.

      Villagers faced threat on multiple levels, physical threats such as hosing them with hot water, abandoning industrial waste carrying ships at their shores, thousands of shark carcasses coming ashore and rotting at their doorsteps, mercilessly decimating the fish stocks, lobsters, shrimp, tuna, and sharks. The villagers faced a stark choice, migrate to overseas as many of them did and perished along their way to Yemen, or die for starvation and diseases as have happened. Or fight back as many are doing. The villagers call defending their right to exist while in the media we call this "scourge of piracy".

      I would agree the villagers have achieved discouraging illegal fishers from the waters of Somalia. However, their methods have attracted unsavory individuals from the lawless country who their sole purpose is to hijack all and any kind of ship that is traveling in the Somali waters and beyond. This is a secondary consequence no one including villagers foresaw. In fact, the villagers are not engaged in any kind of piracy as their objectives are achieved along the bigger piracy business that resulted.

      While the global transportation industry cries foul and the Western countries are sending navy fleets, one must recognize the fishing ships should also get the same treatment as the pirates. Remember Somalia has no government since 1990's and there is no entity company, country or otherwise that has a license to fish from Somali waters. Any fishing ship or boat should be treated as a pirate as they are the root cause of this scourge to begin with. If that is not done, the problem would always remain. ccusmaan@gmail.com

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