Danish shipowner Per Gullestrup had been through the trauma of negotiating the release of his vessel and crew — hijacked by Somali pirates — when he decided to tackle the problem at its source by developing alternative opportunities for local communities. He established Fair Fishing, a nonprofit organization aimed at creating jobs, driving economic growth and improving nutrition and food security, all through fishing. War-torn Somalia wasn’t an option, so he started operations in Somaliland in 2011, with support from its stable government.
Unlike Somalia, Somaliland has no history of fishing outside the small coastal city of Berbera. But seven years after Gullestrup’s decision, Fair Fishing isn’t alone. The self-declared state that isn’t recognized as an independent entity internationally is emerging as the unlikely home of a fishing industry that’s generating jobs, drawing back Somalilanders who had left for other countries, empowering women and changing diets.
Mustafa Abdullahi grew up in Somaliland and recently sold a successful taxi business in England. He returned to start a fish distribution and retail business, called Horn Foods, six months ago. He employs more than 40 people and already has 11 shops. Haqabtire, a fish wholesale business, began exporting to Ethiopia last year and plans to export to Djibouti. Fair Fishing has created 3,000 jobs across the fishing value chain. And in Burao, a couple of hours from the coast, women now sell and fry fish in the market, while some are also leading businesses. In an impact report this year, Nordic Consulting Group, an independent group of consulting organizations, found the income for those in the fishing industry grew more than 300 percent from 2013 to 2018.
Source: OZY. Continue reading...