Fishing in Puntland

Fishermen preparing their boats for fishing.

Puntland boasts an expansive 1,600 km coastline along the Indian Ocean. Its waters are home to some of the richest fishing grounds in Africa and present considerable potential for artisanal fisheries and coastal area development, where efficient fishing, fish marketing and processing remain critical to household livelihoods, creation of jobs and income generation for people. However, the sector remains undeveloped where its ministry lacks sufficient resources and budget to implement existing policies.

Furthermore, fishing is under exploited due to the reliance on and abundance of livestock, the absence of good infrastructure and shortage of funds for the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource to carry out their mandate.

There is potential for great success with renewed investment in this sector. Local and international demand for fish is growing and this creates a great opportunity to develop fishing operations in Puntland.

What we’re doing

Oxfam and the European Union are working with partners to change positively the lives of individuals, businesses and organisations working in and benefitting from fishing in Puntland. This project seeks to contribute to building a more robust fisheries sector and in turn increase access to income and food, and improve nutrition.

These changes will help improve the welfare of the fishermen and their families as well as that of the wider community through easier access to fish and sea products. They will also enable the Government to strike a balance between enabling and regulating the fisheries sector, to ensure sustainable fishing for current and future generations.

A fisherman on his boat, ready to set sail.

What to expect

Technical impact: The capacity of the public and private sectors to lobby the Government on the issues related to implementation of international agreements and standards will be strengthened and will in turn create an enabling environment to utilise the untapped fish resources along the coastline.

Economic impact: Strengthening the fishing industry will help to diversify livelihoods of coastal communities. It is expected that this intervention will create an enabling environment which will stimulate fish production and marketing in the target areas.

Social impact: Communities will participate in fisheries policy development and the resultant policies will reflect the population’s needs. In addition, there will be promotion of fish consumption that will result in improved nutrition. The project also aims to improve dialogue and collaborations between the Government, private sector and fishing communities.

Impact at the policy level: After completion of this project, better fisheries policies will be in place, while existing ones will be updated and enforced. Effective monitoring systems and effective mechanisms to manage resources by fisheries industry will be in operation.

Our partners

The public and private sector institutional capacity building and strengthening project is a three year programme funded by the European Union and will run from 2014 to 2016. Oxfam and the European Union will work with local partner KAALO to carry out the programme activities in Puntland. KAALO has experience in implementing fisheries projects and also have strong links with local ministries and institutions.

We will also work closely with the staff in the relevant ministries in Puntland responsible for policy formulation and documentation to influence fishery policies and to improve governance structures.

Oxfam will use a participatory and inclusive approach with the Government, fishing communities and partners throughout the implementation of the project. This will help build common understanding, ownership and accountability of the project and ensure that the project is sustainable in the long run.

For more information, download the embedded booklet.

First Catch – Puntland Fisheries Summary English –

First Catch – Puntland Fisheries Summary Somali –

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Written by Madete Stella

Stella is Programme Information Officer for Oxfam in Somalia. She is based in Nairobi

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