I'm sorry that I missed out on the lecture about this topic earlier, but here's an interesting article on the subject matter.The media has been full of report of pairates off the coast of Somalia. But there has been precious little about fish. Especially heavy coverage was there after pirates seized the ship «Faina», filled with weapons of all kind. Now, we could always where those weapons really were headed, but that is not my theme today. However, in all those media reports, how many really tried to analyse why there are so many pirates in Somalia? Except that is, by calling Somalia a failed state.
According to FAO, the UNs food and agricultural organization around 700 foreign vessels are involved in illegal fishing in Somali waters. This makes it totally impossible to monitor and control the fisheries in any meaningful way. That means that the status of the stocks are unknown. However, I believe we can safely expect the stocks to be in bad shape. Experiences from other places do not give fish stocks that are exploited unchecked good odds. This means that there is litle left for the traditional artisan fisheries of Somalia. These fisheries traditionally employed 30 000 fishermen, and another 60 000 in related industries. These are good boatspeople that now find themselves with litle or no money. OK, what expertise do these people have that can be harnessed in war torn Somalia. Ah, yes, you are right. They can handle boats and the can handle guns. Any career counsellors would see it immediately and counsel you to bring your CV to the nearest pirate establishment.
Of course, lets be clear, loosing your fish does not give you the right to tout guns and kill people, but it goes a long way toward explaining why people would do so. In addition to stealing fish, foreigners, again according to FAO dumped illegal hazardous waste in Somali waters. I can understand that people get angry.