We strongly support the UN security council move to address
incidences of Piracy and armed robbery that have plagued
ocean-going vessels sailing off the Coast of Somalia.
However, we call upon all fishing vessels to keep away from Somali
territorial waters for apart from being in danger, their presence
in Somalia is illegal and contrary to the UN Convention on Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS)
It was a great joy to see the Taiwanese fishing vessel Cheng Fong
Hwa 168 calling Mombasa Port last Wednesday after spending more
than six (6) months in captivity in Somalia.
The ill-fated vessel and her 16 crew members comprised of 2
Taiwanese, 2 Filipinos and 12 Chinese were hijacked by Somali
gunmen on the 18th April 2007 while on illegal fishing campaign in
Somali fishing grounds.
They were released on November 4th after the Taiwanese ship-owners
paid ransom money amounting to US$ 200,000 to secure the release
of the vessel and her crew.
Narrating their 6 months ordeal in the hands of their captors, the
crew revealed that the pirates injured one of the crew by shooting
the crew member on his back a few days before brutally killing one
The deceased was tortured infront of his crew mates before he was
shot dead on 25th May.
A few days before the ship was released, the pirates took away
personal belongings of the crew worthy about US$ 10,000.00
As fishing in Somali waters is illegal we beg to advice all
foreign fishing vessels to stay away from Somali waters.
And as illegal fishing vessels are using Mombasa Port as their
port of convenience, we call upon the Kenya Maritime Authority to
re-activate Port state control on fishing vessels in accordance
with the International Plan of Action (IPOA) against illegal
The IPOA calls for landing of illegal caught fish to be prohibited
by all States and access to Port or to Port facilities denied for
illegal fishing vessels.The IPOA further calls for detention and
arrest for illegal fishing vessels should they enter sea ports.
I will keep you posted.
Seafarers' Assistance Program
P.O. Box 92273
Cell:00254 721 393458
Fax: 00254 41 230001
E Fax: 18014093908