On May 26th EUCAP Nestor and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) co-hosted the second workshop on maritime cooperation for maritime security and law enforcement agencies currently deployed along the Somali coast.
The leaders of maritime security agencies of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS Coast-Guard), Puntland (Puntland Maritime Police Forces, Bosaso Port Police), Galmudug (Galmudug Coast Guard), Middle Shabelle, Interim South-west Administration (ISWA) and Interim Jubaland Administration (Kismayo Port Police) participated in this event.
International community representatives from UNSOM, FAO, UNODC, Ocean Beyond Piracy (OBP), EUNAVFOR, EUTM Somalia and the Embassies of Japan and the UK were also present.
The workshop marks the follow up of previous discussions involving Somalia’s maritime actors held in Djibouti in March, EUCAP Nestor said, adding that the aim of the meeting was to continue enhancing and strengthening knowledge, understanding, cooperation and cohesion among the different maritime-security entities in Somalia.
“Maritime security is a common concern that requires collective action and this kind of event facilitated by EUCAP Nestor is a step forward in this direction. A better understanding among Somali security agencies on possible synergies in terms of cooperation, communication equipment sharing and operations marks a step forward for the development of best practices and enhanced ability to confront common challenges, in particular fight against piracy,” EUCAP Nestor said in a statement.
During the meeting, the Minister of Fishery and Marine Resources, H.E. Mohamed Omar Ceymooy, underlined the importance for the Somali maritime actors of coordinating and working together “for improved maritime security for the whole country”, especially considering the challenges that the crisis situation in Yemen as well as illegal fishing have brought to Somalia.
All Somali participants expressed their growing concern noting the constant rise of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in their waters.
Finally they committed to continue discussions and marked their appreciation to EUCAP Nestor for having provided for a unique and relevant forum of dialogue on maritime security.
They adopted a Communiqué which covered a number of points regarding illegal fishing and maritime security. The communique said, in part, that, “acknowledging the occurrence of IUU fishing activities in the Somali seas, we agree to report incidents and actions taken as soon as possible to the relevant regional and federal ministries and the international community to avoid confusion and to ensure transparency and coordination of actions.
“We agree to work on the building up of a National Maritime Coordination Centre located in Mogadishu and is operational 24/7 to be the first point of contact for the reporting and management of maritime security incidents for both national and international actors.
“We request from EU Navfor or any other relevant EU agency, including EUCAP Nestor, to promptly share all data collected on IUU fishing activities in the Somali seas with the Federal Government and regional authorities.”