Contribution to the Economy

fishing-4According to various reports published by international organizations fisheries in Somaliland remain untapped. FAO estimates an abundance of fish in the national waters of 200,000 tonnes and that a maximum sustainable yield of 40,000 tonnes a year could be harvested without endangering the stocks. Currently the estimate fish production is low compared to the potential. The shark fishing industry is the mainstay of the artisan fishing community in Somaliland and more than 90% of the fishing fleet hunts for sharks for their valuable fins. In Zeila and nearby islands a sizeable yield of sea cucumbers reaching several tonnes per year is harvested. Furthermore, edible crabs and shrimps are caught in Zeila and Togoshi areas and some 30-50kgs of it are taken to Djibouti on foot.

Fisheries is considered to be a relatively important sector within the national economy and it contribution is believed to be high when measured in terms of macro-economic significances. The government of Somaliland is committed to fully exploit these marine resources for the benefit of its people.

Artisan fishing accounts for more than 90% of the total catch and is restricted to the coastal zone. It was operating from numerous small coastal fishing vessels, using gillnets, hand lines and trolling around 100-120 motorized boats of varying size are engaged in the fishing production.

About 1000 fulltime fishermen are estimated to be utilizing the coastal resources. Unknown number of large and more efficient boats is also known to fish illegally in the area.

Currently an Italian foreign fishing company and 36 medium sized Egyptian vessels have been licensed to by the government to harvest an average per boat of about 30m/tons monthly. Total annual fish catch from all local and the licensed sources is estimates at 19,000m/tons yearly while actual annual potential capacity per the UBDP reports is estimated at 90-120,000m/tons. Major sea food markets are the Gulf States.

There are five major fishing locations in Somaliland these arefishing

  • Zeila
  • Laas haya
  • Laas qorey
  • Mait