Source: Stop Illegal Fishing
Author: Sally Frankcom
The Greek owned Belize flagged vessel Greko 1, on the run from Somali authorities, docked in Mombasa on 18th October 2016. The fugitive vessel had originally been denied port services at Mombasa in September 2016 but on this occasion, the Captain reported a sick crew member on-board and invoked the ‘force majeure’ clause.
Kenyan authorities, acting in cooperation with Somalia are mobilized to “freeze” the vessel, only allowing essential medical and food supplies aboard.
An inspection in Mogadishu on 7th October confirmed suspicions that the Greko 1 had been fishing illegally in the Somali EEZ. Charges for a number of serious violations of the fisheries law of Somalia have been made, including: fishing without a valid fishing license; fishing in prohibited areas; forgery of official documents and fishing with illegal gear.
Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta has recently voiced concern over the action of foreign fishing vessels engaging in illegal fishing in the Indian Ocean. Uhuru said, “it is estimated that Kenya loses 35 million USD annually from the illegal trade. Foreign ships will not be allowed to operate with impunity at the expense of local fishermen.”