China gets fishing rights in Somalia amid deadlock over revenue sharing
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali’s government has granted 31 fishing licenses to China. This is the first time that President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s government has given fishing rights to foreigners since taking office last year.
The China Overseas Fisheries Association, which represents 150 companies, will be allowed to fish for tuna in Somali waters.
The move has raised concern that fishing stocks could be depleted, and the livelihoods of local fishermen threatened.
However, Somali fisheries ministry adviser Abdirahman Ahmed said up to 24 nautical miles (44km) off the coast are reserved for local fishermen.
Ahmed also said that under the license agreement, the ministry can call the ships to the port at any time for inspections.
The deal comes as the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia and the regional states are still in deadlock over the share of the revenue from the foreign fishing companies in country's territorial waters.