Somalia Fisheries Sector
Somalia's ‘hidden treasure’- its blue economy- is ready for Foreign and Somali Diaspora Investments
According to various sources, up to 2.4 million tons of fish have been caught by foreign fleets off Somali waters in the past three decades. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) placed the economic value of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing at over US$ 300 million in benefits to other economies. It is therefore clear that formalizing the blue economy is critical to Somalia’s long-term investment future.
Domestic (commercial) fishing in the blue economy has historically been conservatively estimated at between US$ 135 million annually, based on natural resource extraction along the 3,333 kilometers of coastline and economic exclusion of 200 nautical miles. In 2019 the Government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources granted 31 fishing licenses to the China Overseas Fishing Association in an effort to improve sector regulation, and to generate revenues. The Ministry has reserved 24 nautical miles (44 km) of coast line for local fishermen.. Formal fish exports to Kenya have also commenced.
As a result of the 2018 licensing – the Ministry of Fisheries has become a significant contributor to the annual revenues of the government. Moreover, the potential for private sector value chain development in Fisheries remains considerable, with potential spinoff and catalytic impacts on growth, jobs and revenues.
As maritime transport increases both in volumes and frequency, Somalia will make use of its strategic position and long coastlines to facilitate international trade. Prof. Said Adejumobi, the director of the Southern African office of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) calls blue economy as “…Africa’s ‘hidden treasure’ and the African Union hails it as the ‘new frontier of African renaissance’. These treasures include coastal waters and maritime resources, which could serve as sources of food, energy, mineral extraction, leisure, good health, science, and technology.
Investment Opportunities in fisheries:
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