Monitoring IUU off Somalia


Pillaging of maritime resources is widely seen as the touch paper that lit the piracy fuse off the Horn of Africa. With it now well under control the multi-nation naval force is able to devote more resource-wise to ending illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the waters it patrols.

This is an EU NavFor Operation Atalanta tasking to put a halt to this illegal activity and eventually, see fish populations return to a level where local Somali fishermen can feed themselves, their families and hopefully, earn income.

Part of the Atalanta IUU taking see Ops Headquarters of EU NavFor Somalia operations headquarters presenting a detailed update on accumulated observations of fishing activities off Somalia to the European Commission’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries the Directorate General (DG Mare). The last meeting saw target audience analyst Major Sara Rivera meet the EU fisheries inspector and technical advisor for IUU fishing in Brussels.

Rivera is part Atalanta’s future operations branch at EU NavFor Ops Headquarters in Rota, Spain.

One of her major responsibilities is analysing all information on fishing vessels provided by force headquarters, currently embarked on ESPS Victoria and gathered by all deployed assets in the area of operations. Once information is evaluated, a comprehensive report goes DG Mare.

“It is one the Operation’s core tasks to exchange information with DG Mare, which they then share with the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). Data on fishing activities is essential in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries allowing competent authorities to take action against offenders violating Somalia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” she said.