Special Reports

Illegal overfishing and the return of Somalia's pirates


Somali women offload the catch of the day from fishermen at the Bosaso harbour in Puntland [Karel Prinsloo/Adeso]

Plunder of Somali waters by foreign fishing vessels could mean the return of hijackings, locals warn.

A hundred years ago, it was a bustling port that served the vibrant fishing community living along Somalia's coastline, the longest on mainland Africa.

Now, Durduri is a sun-bleached, wind-swept, white-sand graveyard of stone structures. There is no harbour, no jetty. The drying and smoking house is just a tumble of bricks.

This is one of many historical coastal trading towns that have risen and fallen with empires. When the busy trade routes moved away, fishing was one of the few lifelines left.

Talk to locals now and you will find this too has dried up - they say there are no more fish in the sea. They blame not the pirates who brought the attention of international law enforcement to Somalia's waters, but the foreign fishing boats that have plundered sea-life stocks. Click here to read the full report.

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