Illegal fishing and political instability fuel piracy risks in Somalia

Picture released by the EU NAVFOR on January 20, 2014 shows crew of the French EU Naval Force ship FS Siroco (background) during an operation off Oman to release the crew of a dhow (L) suspected to have been used as pirate mother-ship (AFP Photo/)

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 Key Points

  • The increase in illegal fishing in Somali waters is denying Somalia’s state governments a legitimate source of revenue and depriving Somali fishermen of their livelihood.
  • Political instability in Galmudug and northeast Puntland is recreating conditions that previously led local leaders to support piracy, facilitating the establishment of secure pirate bases.
  • A combination of factors mean that neither Somali federal security forces nor state forces would be likely to respond effectively to a resurgence of piracy, leaving any risk mitigation action to international maritime forces deployed in the region.
  • Force levels of international maritime security operations are likely to be reduced and their effectiveness constrained by political reluctance to engage pirates on land.
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