The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Puntland Government expresses its deep concern regarding the minutes from the meeting on 21/9/2022 between the Federal Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources and foreign ambassadors, in which the Minister of Fisheries stated that he “does not recognize any license that is not issued by the Federal Ministry of Fisheries”, and threatened, “whoever is engaged in fishing activities with a license granted by the Federal Member States will be on the list of those who are accused of illegal fishing”.
Puntland Government wishes to highlight that the above statement contradicts the constitution and the following political agreements:
1. Article 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia stipulates that the distribution of natural resources shall be negotiated by the Federal Government of Somalia and its member states through a constitutional framework.
2. The Baidoa Convention held on February 2nd 2018, Article 2; Paragraph B, confirms that the Federal Member States (FMS) have the authority over anything below 24 nautical miles.
3. The Addis Ababa Agreement held on March 22nd 2019, Article 3, states that the revenue generated from below 24 nautical miles will be managed by the Federal Member States.
4. The Constitution of Puntland State, Article 3; Section 3 states that foreigners who are granted a permit from Puntland Government are allowed to fish between 12-24 nautical miles.
Therefore, such reckless statement from the Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources of the Federal Government could incite political instability, plunge the country into further division and jeopardize the economic future of the fishing sector as a whole.
In conclusion, we call on the officials of the Federal Ministry of Fisheries of Somalia to retract for his unsubstantiated statement, and honor the previous agreements and consultations between the Federal Government of Somalia and Puntland Government.