Was Overfishing the Catalyst for a Somali Pirate Epidemic?

I recently caught this article from one of my favorite sites, treehugger.com

All too often we get caught up in reacting to the problems in front of us. If Somali pirates have a hostage, we react by figuring out how to kill them while leaving the hostage safe.

 We are rarely composed enough these days to dig a little deeper and seek out the “why?” to the problems that exist.  The Somali pirate epidemic is a symptom of the social and enviromental challenges that this East African nation faces.

We can continue to react to each piracy incident as it appears, or consider the bigger picture problems of the whole system.  If we address the root of the problem (diminishing fish stocks and no government = no income) instead of the symptom (Somali pirates), we may actually find solutions that are humane, cost-effective, and successful in the long-term.

Like a small child always playing in a street of broken glass.  We have two solutions, treat each new cut with a bandaid or remove the shards of glass.

“Thousands of Somalis once made their living as fishermen. But Somalia has been without a central government for nearly two decades—so there’s no active body that’s able to effectively protect the country’s rights to its coastline, and the once-abundant supply of fish it held. So now, due to the willingness of foreigners to exploit fisheries off Somalia’s coast, and the lack of a governing body to stave them off, many of these fishermen are finding their nets empty. It’s estimated that $300 million worth of seafood is stolen from Somali waters altogether every year—(source-Treehugger.com)

Source: Treehugger/War is Boring

Source: Treehugger/War is Boring


About derm

I have a job in Scotland, working on business and climate change. With a passion for and graduate schooling in whole-systems sustainability from Sweden, I try to keep my hand on the pulse of the sustainability world through various side-projects with friends and peers. I've written reports on water, on true costing of food and natural resources, responsible investing, and on global organizational networks. I love hill running, probably because I left all the powder skiing back in British Columbia. I also love seeing things grow and looking at something familiar with new eyes. I think I could live happily for a year on pizza and nachos, although I'd prefer to not find out. I believe wild animals have a message for us, and it may be something to do with the fact that they've been getting a bum deal on this planet lately. When I was little I believed that there was someone special out there for each and everyone of us. I still believe that. I know world is a complex place, and feel that open and honest communication is probably one of the few sure ways to lead us to success.
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