Somali Pirates

One of the foundation stones for the Somali economy has been the export of its fish, with its pricey seafood, rich in protein, being served in the finest restaurants of London, Paris and Rome.

However, with no effective government, foreign trawlers moved into the coast off Somalia, looting its fish stocks with no effective opposition and effectively raiding the Somalia economy of hundreds of millions of dollars.

As Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the United Nations envoy to Somalia, stated "European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood.

We have destroyed our own fish stocks by over-exploitation and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia's unprotected seas."

Things were to get worse during the 1990s with much of the population of Somalia, particularly those living close to the sea, becoming sick and suffering from skin rashes, hair loss, bleeding and diarrhoea. The cause was unknown, however the Indonesian Tsunami of 2004 appeared to reveal a terrible truth, for as the Tsunami caused waters to roll up and then recede across the Somali coastline, strange metal cylinders were found strewn on the beaches.

Naturally poor, the Somalis were keen to investigate whether these cylinders contained anything of worth, but hundreds became ill and paid with their own lives, for it was apparent that foreign companies had been dumping toxic waste in Somalia waters safe in the knowledge that there was no effective government to combat this abuse. This was not just any waste, it was nuclear waste.

As Johann Hari of the UK newspaper The Independent reported in an article entitled You Are Being Lied To About Pirates "Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died."


Somali Pirates

Somali Pirates

Somali Pirates

Somali Pirates


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Somali Pirates

Somali Pirates

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Much of the piracy that is merely considered the activity of criminals was spawned to combat this illegal poaching of fishing stocks and the continuing toxification of the Somali waters. One of the Somali pirate leaders, Januna Ali Jama, has confirmed that the piracy against foreign ships is aimed at stopping this dumping and protecting a bedrock of the Somali economy; "We are reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years. The Somali coastline has been destroyed. We believe this money is nothing compared to the devastation that we have seen on the seas."


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