A festival has been held in Somalia to celebrate the harvest from the sea...but the?
A festival has been held in Somalia to celebrate the harvest from the sea...but the country's fishing industry has been in decline. Substantial development will be required if the industry is to make a significant contribution to Somalia's economy.
SYNOPSIS: The fishing celebrations included an exhibition and displays associated with the industry in Somalia. And they rated a visit from the Somalian Vice President Hussien Kulmia Afrah.
But despite the efforts of the government to promote the industry, fishing does not make a big contribution to the country's economy. There is now only one deep sea trawler operating off Somalia, although there are hundreds of small canoes. For five years Soviet fishing vessels worked the coastal fisheries. But President Said Barre ordered them out last year, reportedly for not working to build the local industry. They took with them their ten deep sea trawlers, processing pants and their expertise, leaving few Somalians who know how to apply modern fishing techniques.
At present there is a trial programme to export lobster to Italy. Other markets remain closed until the potential importers are assured that the catch is of consistently good quality. This contrasts with the Soviet operation which used modern vessels and techniques to produce a catch suitable for sale at distant ports for hard currency. Somalia sent lobster to Nairobi and dried fish to Mombasa until May this year when border disputes between Somalia and Kenya cut off trade.
These boat race competitors have been involved in a resettlement experiment. Nomads from inland areas suffered greatly in a drought in 1974. Although they traditionally dislike seafood, much preferring camel or goat meat, they have been resettled by their thousands on the coast, and now do fishing. In the next few months they expect to receive 11 new trawlers from Australia and Yugoslavia.
But if these fishermen are to exploit the large potential fisheries off their coast several more years of development still remain.