Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Somali Pirates Once Had a Vibrant Fishing Industry

There's nothing new about raping the ocean of its resources. The first great book I read on this was Farley Mowat's Sea of Slaughter, published in 1984. It recounts the depletions or outright extinctions by men, of many species of birds, fish and marine mammals in the Atlantic Ocean, over a span of hundreds of years. And he describes how outrageously over-fishing has accelerated in recent years.

At the time Mowat wrote the book, only 25 years ago, the Yukon and Kuskokwim River were still producing some hefty salmon runs. Not anymore. And during that same period of time, a vibrant East African fishing industry has been destroyed by a combination of huge offshore fishing vessels - some owned by partners of the Bering Sea trawlers - and totally illegal, totally unmonitored dumping of toxic, even radioactive wastes, in that same area.

Back in January, Mohamed Abshir Waldo wrote about this Indian Ocean tragedy. His article, called The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the World Ignores the Other? is important to anyone who wants to understand what has brought thousands of East African men to risk their lives by criminally attacking large merchant vessels, hundred of miles from the African coast.

Here's Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewing Mr. Waldo last Tuesday:

Part One:

Part Two:

image - Oysters4me

No comments: