How Rampant Illegal Fishing Is Destabilizing Somalia

New research examines how illegal fishing hurts Somalia’s economy, exacerbates conflicts, and upsets political stability.

by Munyaradzi Makoni

In Somali waters, illegal fishing is a pervasive problem. It triggers clashes between foreign and domestic fishers, and destabilizes Somali life.

For at least seven decades, foreign fishers have harvested Somalia’s fish with little or no deterrence. The clashes escalated with the 1991 collapse of the government. As civil war took hold and warlords scrambled to rule, the longest coastline in continental Africa, at 3,333 kilometers, was suddenly unprotected.

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