Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Illegal Fishing

The sea in Eyl.
There are people from far away lands who come to the sea in Eyl/Somalia to steal fish because what else are they doing coming this far away to fish, pure broad day light(in this case mostly night-time) robbery.

They are mostly I assumed from places like Yemen,Iran based on the stories I hear but I met this Swahili speaking man and how I knew he speaks Swahili, he had a radio that was tuned to a Swahili station, at the tea joint because where else to meet new people right? at first I thought he had tuned to it by mistake, but he keeps on listening  and this joint of ours is small and therefore it has one sitting area, I quietly listen and he decides to pick a conversation with me in Swahili............................

Washangaa kumuona mtu anasikiliza Kiswahili hapa (and in a Swahili accent). I keep on looking at him because if anything I have learnt to be wary of friendly strangers but then he starts telling me the way he is prospecting for fishing opportunities here and that samaki wamekosekana kabisa Mombasa.Now I really look at him and ask him if he knows about illegal fishing and its dangers and he tells me the sea is a natural resource given/gifted to all of us by God and therefore what they plan on doing cannot be called illegal and as for piracy he goes like ahhhhhhh si hayo maneno yalienda na Captain Phillips.

There is something like depletion of sea resources (I have always thought the sea can never be depleted,its the sea!!)  because all the time we talk to the communities we work for to ask them to list the biggest hazards they face and those that live near the sea will always say xaluuf ka bada which translates to desertification of the sea(depletion of sea resources but desertification says that the situation is really bad ama?) and here are people coming from far away places to take even the little that is left because they have bigger boats/trawlers :-(

How do we get these guys doing illegal fishing discussion.

We spend a lot of time in the villages and some of the villages we go to are quite near the sea sometimes they will show us the boats doing illegal fishing and will tell us how they cannot even get near them as these people are not polite thiefs because they also carry guns and if any boat comes near them they shoot at it!!! I don't know about this but I have seen people fight like crazy over water and pasture (God given natural resources) and parties involved are not even of different nationalities just communities trying to prove who is braver than the other because to be known as a coward is a huge insult to them(them being Samburus,Turkanas and Boranas) so I pray and hope that the government finds some way to be effective in manning the boats that are allowed to fish in their waters.

Posing with the lobsters-the random life choose me :-)
There is xaluuf ka bada(look who is flaunting her Somali :-)) but some of the  fishermen fish out pregnant lobsters and who knew lobsters have such beautiful pregnant bellies :-) :-) the orange part is the pregnant belly, also they look quite scary and to catch them the fishermen have to go into the deep sea with oxygen masks and all.These are serious fishermen but why they catch pregnant lobsters they can't explain but when I ask them aren't they afraid to catch the lobster scary as they seem ,they look at me and say have you ever seen anyone run away from money,well this is our money we see lobsters and run to them(swim really fast) as they fetch the highest prices.

A lobster fresh out of the sea

Oxygen tanks belonging to the fishermen

A shark!!

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