27 November 2019, Bossaso – 12 fishing vessels with inboard diesel engines were handed over by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Puntland State turned them over to active fishing co-operatives working on the Puntland coast.
“The vessels are another contribution from the Coastal Communities Against Piracy (CCAP) Project, generously funded by the European Union, which works to develop a vibrant fisheries sector that harnesses the great potential offered by Somalia’s coastline by providing decent employment opportunities young people along the fisheries value chain,” said John Purvis, FAO’s CCAP Project Manager in Somalia.
Despite having the longest coastline of Africa, Somalia’s fisheries sector still holds a huge potential to be developed. It is currently estimated to only account for roughly one percent of Somalia’s Gross Domestic Product.
“The Government of Puntland is committed to ensure that these vessels contribute to generating income and opportunities to youth in the coastal communities of Puntland. We thank you FAO and the European Union for their longstanding and continued support to develop our fisheries sector,” said Abdiqani Gelle Mohamed, State Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Puntland State of Somalia..
Developing a solid fisheries sector is crucial not only to put a halt to illegal activities in the sea, but also for improving Somalia’s food security. In a country where eating fish has been traditionally looked down upon despite its high nutritional value, the fisheries sector is key to boosting fish consumption among the population, thereby improving Somalia’s fragile food security situation.
“The vessels are designed for long line fishing which is a more sustainable type of fishing, able to provide high quality and value individual fish,” said Michael Savins, Head of FAO’s Fleet Renewal Unit.
These new design fishing vessels include features which improve the safety of the fishers operating in coastal and offshore waters. They also provide better facilities for fish handling on board (including in-built well insulated fish boxes able to preserve ice in fish for longer periods) and improved efficiency through the use of the in-board diesel engines, which are better for the environment than traditional outboard engines.
Background: CCAP Project
Funded by the European Union, the CCAP project started in 2016 with a clear objective: provide viable alternatives to piracy within the fisheries sector to the coastal communities. In collaboration with the Federal Government and the State Governments of Puntland and Galmudug. FAO is coordinating the concerted efforts to develop the promising fishing industry in Somalia and create opportunities for youth employment. The project is benefitting over 1 000 beneficiaries through new fishing vessels and gear, capacity building on fish processing techniques, and training to strengthen a wide range of skills needed in the fisheries sector.
FAO and fisheries in Somalia
The CCAP project is part of FAO’s interventions in the fisheries sector in Somalia, which take a holistic approach and aims to create and strengthen opportunities for young people along the fisheries value chain; from boat building to improving fish catch, handling, processing and preparation techniques and consumption.
“Community-driven activities are implemented alongside provision of technical advice and support to manage offshore fisheries. All fisheries activities have a strong focus on capacity development,” said John Purvis.