Two Iranian fishermen killed in clash between Somali pirates and Iranian fishermen who suspected to have been illegally fishing off the coast of Somalia, on Saturday.
Deputy Head of the Iran Fisheries Organization, Ali Askar Mujahideeni said that two fishermen were killed and several injured in the clash which the pirates overpowered the fishermen.
“We advised fishermen not to travel Somali coast in order to ensure their safety and said them ask for assistance of the Iranian sailors in such cases,” he said.
He said that two fishing vessels are still in the hands of pirates and Iranian security forces are working to free them. Mujahideeni said that several Iranian fishing vessels were arrested in the ports of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and other countries.
“We are currently working through diplomatic channels to release those vessels,” he said.
Large foreign trawlers make their way to Somali waters to fish in commercial quantities and also dump industrial waste.
Local Fishermen have continuously complained about foreign trawlers who are doing the illegal fishing and dumping waste. Some fishermen have gone missing while others are tortured by the trawlers who at times spray boiling water from cannons.
The activities of these foreign trawlers have been linked with the rise of piracy off the Somali coast – which is reportedly one of the longest in Africa.
Local reports indicate that pirates have justified their actions with the fact that foreign trawlers have made fishing unprofitable by destroying the nation’s waters.
Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa with 3,330 KM. Since the central government was overthrown in 1991, foreign fishing trawlers began illegal fishing and ships from big companies started dumping waste off the coast of the lawless country.