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This month the meme from the world to the media is that the Puntland fisher tribes that have been forced into piracy for a living are no longer in control.  The piracy is now being led by Indians, Arabs, Pakistanis, anyone but fisherman.  The second part of the meme is that the boats being seized are far out in international waters.  Two incidents in particular highlight the EU's hypocrisy in looting the seas at the Horn of Africa...

Of course once you start following the story the references to "Authorities finding (filling your favorite bad guys here)running pirate operations" all fizzle out.  There are no facts supporting the contention, just smoke from the world's media to obscure Puntand fishing tribes striking back at the world that has robbed them of their very lives.

Somali pirates seize Spanish tuna fishing boat


October 2, 2009

MADRID – Somali pirates hijacked a Spanish tuna fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, the regional government of the Basque Country and a pirate spokesman said on Friday.

European military aircraft flew over the "Alakrana" when it failed to make a routine call and saw armed men aboard, a spokesman for the Basque government said.

A source in the pirate haven of Haradheere north of the Somali capital Mogadishu confirmed the boat had been seized.

"Our friends from Kismayu hijacked a fishing boat with its crew late last night," pirate Hassan told Reuters by phone. "They are on the way to Haradheere. No warship can stop us."

The Alakrana, which has a crew of 36 and a home port in the Basque Country, featured in Spanish media reports last week when its captain described how bad weather had helped his vessel escape a previous pirate attack.

Pirate attacks have continued despite patrols by foreign navies off the lawless Horn of Africa state. Monsoon rains over the past few months curbed the number of attacks but they have now started to pick up again.

The Seychelles coast guard said the ship was seized 400 nautical miles (740 km) northwest of Mahe, the largest and most developed island in the archipelago, where many French and Spanish tuna fishing vessels are based.

Tuna catches in the southwestern Indian Ocean fell by as much as 30 percent last year as pirates blocked access to some of the world’s richest Yellowfin tuna waters off Somalia.

Well, which is it?  are they in international waters as they claim, or are they trying to get at the tuna populations "off the coast of Somalia"?

Poor little fishing boat and the 36 crew aboard.  Wait a sec, 36 crew?  Exactly what kind of boat is this?

It's a big one, that scoops up everything in it's path, leaving nothing in the waters where it has trolled.  A factory ship is a fishing vessel designed to catch huge amounts of fish. They have the ability to fillet and freeze fish immediately after they are caught. In an hour, one factory ship can haul in as much tuna as a typical Somalian fishing boat can land in a season.  Everything these boats catches gets used, nothing gets put back; tuna gets stored, unwanted bounty is used as bait, or simply as chum.  There is no catch and release for combo trawler/factory boats. Spain is deploying military force independently of CTF 151 to ensure it's fishing fleet continued pillaging the harvest off Somalia that was once the trade of Somali fisher tribes.

Like most non-Somalian fish factory boats, this one is based in the Saychelles, a group of tiny islands about 800 miles SE of Somalia.  Why here?  Access to an airport for one, so the EU and the world can have fresh seafood, and also because it's the closest port where seafood can be transfered to cargo ships heading to Asia, the Middle East, Iran, and Europe.

The French love their seafood too:

French soldiers fire at pirates in Indian Ocean

(AFP) – Oct 10, 2009

NAIROBI — French soldiers providing protection on board French fishing ships in the Indian Ocean early on Saturday fired on pirates to repel an attack, sources said.

"Three small launches... (which were) nearly invisible and that we had on the radar at the last moment, chased us," a member of the crew of the Drennac, one of two fishing French vessels approached by the pirates, told AFP by telephone.

The soldiers "at first fired warning shots, then they fired at the target," he added.

The incident took place 195 nautical miles (350 kilometres) north of the Seychelles. There were no casualties on the French side.

The report was confirmed by a western source in the same area. He said that the pirate skiffs that came under fire returned to a mother ship some 30 metres (90 feet) long.

It is the first time that the French soldiers, who have been providing protection since July 1 on board about 10 French fishing ships off the Somalian coast, have opened fire on pirates.

..and again, which is it?  200 miles from the Saychelles or "off the Somalian coast"?  There's a several hundred mile difference there.  The same article identifies the Spanish tuna trawler The Alakrana as "a giant Spanish tuna hauler", but all tuna trawlers operating off Somalia are giant ships manned by 35 or so crewman.  That 90 foot-long pirate mother ship?  Dwarfed by the 90 meter long tuna factory boats

Three new French tuna factory boats, the largest in the French fishing fleet, were ordered in 2007 for rush production and delivery, once it became clear there would be no stability in the Somalian waters, and the bounty was there for the taking.  When will the world stop pillaging Somalia?  When they run out of resources to pillage, or when someone forces them to stop.  There's still plenty of party left, and the rest of the world are willing participants.

Somalia (as well as Kenya and Ethiopia), enters the fifth year of drought.  One in six Somalian children are acutely malnourished.  Ongoing warlord based, and al qaeda fueled fighting in the south has virtually ended food production, while the drought ravages areas where people have fled to from the fighting and famine. Half the population of Somalia, more than 3.8 million people are affected.

Fortunately, the rest of the world is standing by, ready to provide help to solve this crisis.  Nah, I'm just kidding. In early October 2008 the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1838 which determined

that the incidents of piracy and armed robbery against vessels in the territorial waters of Somalia and the high seas off the coast of Somalia exacerbate the situation in Somalia which continues to constitute a threat against international peace and security.

 If Somalia is stripped bare, unable to defend themselves, and helped along with a world approved roofie, it's Somalia's own fault the world is repeatedly raping and pillaging her food and future with no end in sight.  Shame on them.

The rest of the world also continues a 20 year tradition of dumping their toxic waste off the Somali coast.  Exactly what do you think all those cargo ships that take Somalia's bounty away to feed everyone else in the world bring back?  They dump the toxic waste-and I mean the bad stuff, nuclear, VOC's, gene-busting heavy metals, you-name-it, dump it off on their way back to the Saychelles to get another load of seafood.

So long as Somalia is in anarchy and cannot defend herself, the rest of the world will take every advantage they can at Somalia's expense.  

How civilized of us all.

Originally posted to dgil on Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 11:03 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So you're saying it's OK (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, wilderness voice

    for me to get an AK 47 and start shooting out the windows of CEOs who are ripping off all of us?

  •  Actually a great number of African (8+ / 0-)

    nations are used as toxic waste dumps for the west thank to their easily bribed governments.

    There are a number of on going court cases.

    Somalia is particularly vulnerable to our dear governments foisting our waste on others.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 11:14:53 AM PDT

  •  There's no evidence for the claims of toxic (0+ / 0-)

    dumping, AFAIK.  Note that a UN study was done and found no evidence whatsoever of toxic dumping (pay attention to the timeline: first, a prelim and much-publicized UN report found there was dumping, and then the follow-up study found there was no evidence to support those claims.  When people bitch about the non-existent dumping, they typically cite the prelim report and accompanying quotes, but are too stupid, lazy or dishonest to note that the follow-up disproved the preliminary findings)

    We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

    by burrow owl on Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 11:24:42 AM PDT

    •  And you were to stupid, lazy, or dishonest to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      follow any of her links or to read this recent rec list diary, perhaps:

      •  How wonderfully irrelevant. (0+ / 0-)

        We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

        by burrow owl on Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 11:33:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The recent diary, Bloggers Pwn UK Censors (0+ / 0-)

        is about toxic waste dumping off Ivory Coast, in Western Africa. Somalia is in Eastern Africa. They are on opposite sides of the continent.

        It does not make sense to fish in the same waters where toxic waste is dumped, especially when it's argued that the same ships that carry the fish also carry the toxic waste.

        It may make sense to argue that if there is commercial fishing off the coast of Somalia, that toxic waste dumping would be on the other side of Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government is incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 03:42:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's some (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, Lujane, Egalitare

      The follow up denied the prelim report, much like classic CYA actions?  What follow up report?  Where?  Is there a follow up report for all 500+ reports about toxic waste dumping that go back to around 1992?  I missed all those too...

      Google page with links going back 18 years on the topic:

      I would offer that you're not looking very hard, just looking for an argument, for what reason I can't fathom.

      Note that this website has vanished and exists only as a google archive.

      Allegations of the dumping of toxic waste, as well as illegal fishing, have circulated since the early 1990s, but hard evidence emerged when the tsunami of 2004 hit the country. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) reported that the tsunami washed rusting containers of toxic waste onto the shores of Puntland, northern Somalia.

      Nick Nuttall, a UNEP spokesman, told Al Jazeera that when the barrels were smashed open by the force of the waves, the containers exposed a "frightening activity" that had been going on for more than a decade. "Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there," he said. "The waste is many different kinds. There is uranium radioactive waste. There is lead, and heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. There is also industrial waste, and there are hospital wastes, chemical wastes—you name it."

      Nuttall also said that since the containers came ashore, hundreds of residents have fallen ill, suffering from mouth and abdominal bleeding, skin infections and other ailments. "What is most alarming here is that nuclear waste is being dumped. Radioactive uranium waste that is potentially killing Somalis and completely destroying the ocean," he said.

      Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia, says the practice helps fuel the eighteen-year-old civil war in Somalia, as companies pay Somali government ministers and/or militia leaders to dump their waste. "There is no government control . . . and there are few people with high moral ground . . . yes, people in high positions are being paid off, but because of the fragility of the Transitional Federal Government, some of these companies now no longer ask the authorities—they simply dump their waste and leave."
      In 1992 the countries of the European Union and 168 other countries signed the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The convention prohibits waste trade between countries that have signed, as well as countries that have not signed the accord, unless a bilateral agreement had been negotiated. It also prohibits the shipping of hazardous waste to a war zone.

      I may be missing some nuance here, but:

      When people bitch about the non-existent dumping, they typically cite the prelim report and accompanying quotes, but are too stupid, lazy or dishonest to note that the follow-up disproved the preliminary findings)

      Exactly who are you speaking to?  The people who are too too stupid, lazy or dishonest to note that an unidentified, uncited follow-up disproved the preliminary findings?

      Sorry, I can find plenty or reports from the UN about the dumping of toxic waste, but nary a one about how all these reports are now wrong.  

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