By: Yusuf M Hasan
BERBERA (Somalilandsun) – in the recent past the haul of fish in Berbera has increased dramatically thus making sea products a regular palate for many in Somaliland.
According to fisherman Abdale Imaan Omar the daily harvest of assorted fish types in Berbera is now at an average of one and a half tons per vessel.
The fisherman who revealed this during an interview with BBC Somali service also informed that the bumper harvest has been realized as a result of increased expertise accrued from Yemeni fishermen who have settled in the Somaliland coastal town after escaping turmoil in their country.
“While sad for the plight engulfing Yemenis in their country, arrival of fleeing fishermen from that country has been a blessing in disguise for the local fishery industry” said Abdale adding that the bumper haul has other factors too.
The government of Somaliland supported by international stakeholders is hosting thousands of refugees escaping the Saudi led war in Yemen.
Apart from enhanced expertise courtesy of Yemeni fishermen other factors contributing to motivation include availability of sufficient cold storage facilities hitherto unavailable and influx of fishing vessels from the ports of Mayd in the east and Sayla in the west of Somaliland.
The increased fish harvest coupled with sufficient refrigeration capabilities has in turn translated to an increase in the number of buyers supplying mostly markets in Hargeisa and Burao towns where fish has became a regular item in the menu at homes and all classes of restaurants.
According to Ahmed Abokor the managing director of Pontus Marine company the Somaliland waters in the Gulf of Aden is home to over 600 species of fishes
Pontus Marine which is the first company to issue public shares worth $5m all taken, with intent to help enable the development of new markets internationally has just availed an ice plant that is already helping keep landed fish fresh and in premium condition.
The containerized Ice plant manufactured in a project managed by fishery consultant MacAlister Elliott & Partners Ltd (MEP) and the only one of its kind in the world has the ability to produce up to 10 tonnes of high quality ice per day.
These developments benefiting fishermen in various parts of the country are made more easily accessible and in a coordinated manner by the Somaliland fishing cooperative that brings together and under one umbrella all citizens who derive livelihoods from fishing in Somaliland.