China getting fishing rights in the fragile state of Somalia has been of grave concern especially with regards to the plight of local fishermen and stocks but the fisheries minister Abdirahman Ahmed has assured that all is well. According to him, up to 24 nautical miles (44km) off the coast are reserved for local fishermen and per the license agreement, his outfit can call the ships to the port anytime for inspections.
The country’s fisheries ministry is hopeful that the move would ensure that resources are exploited illegally. Over the years, local fishermen and coastal communities in Somalia who survive on fishing have appealed for assistance from the government to keep larger, foreign boats out of the country’s territorial waters. when local fishermen in Somalia are struggling to compete with foreign vessels that are depleting fishing stocks, the government has granted 31 fishing licenses to China.
The China Overseas Fisheries Association, which represents 150 companies, allowed to fish for tuna in Somali waters.
Rich in hydrocarbons and possessing a favorable geological structure, Somalia holds huge opportunities for investors looking to enter the East African market, said the country’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, “Nowhere is the contribution that the energy industry can make to civil society and economic development greater than in Somalia,” he said, noting that the sector has the potential to greatly enhance stability and economic development.
On its path to transforming its petroleum industry and attract the attention of new investors, Somalia has made significant progress in recent years. This year, the country passed a new petroleum law which enabled it to make progress in exploration and development, and attract interest from oil and gas majors ExxonMobil and Shell.
Somalia oil and gas
The history of Somalia’s oil and gas exploration dates back to 1948 through oil leaks at Dagah Shabel but due to political and security environment in Somalia no major progress was made in this front. In the late 1980s, a number of oil firms signed agreements with the Siyaad Barre military government among them BP (Amoco, Sinclair), Chevron (Texaco), Conoco, Eni, Shell, ExxonMobil and 5 others.
According to Energy Voice reports. The official said he was “deeply honoured” to serve as the SPA’s first chairman and CEO. “Our objective is to ensure that the fiscal and regulatory regime is internationally competitive to attract investment, whilst delivering an equitable proportion of any future revenues to the Somali people. We have been encouraged by the level of interest being expressed in our first forthcoming licensing round opening next week.
The licensing round opens on August 4 and closes on March 12, 2021. It offers seven offshore blocks. The areas on offer are Blocks 152, 153, 164, 165, 177, 178 and 204. The petroleum ministry held a virtual workshop on the round in May.