Fisheries Management Planning Begins in Bander Beyla and Zeila

Fishing community members in Zeila, Somaliland discuss how to manage their local marine resources

Consultations for local level fisheries management have begun in Zeila district, Somaliland, and Bander Beyla, Puntland, as part of the communities’ fisheries cooperative management implementation processes. Secure Fisheries facilitated meetings with government stakeholders in the regional capitals of Hargeisa and Garowe in August, then in the fishing communities in September and October, respectively. About 62 participants took part in the consultation meeting in Zeila district, while 40 participants attended  the Bander Beyla consultation. 

Participants expressed their interest in protecting the marine environment and their livelihoods from the threats posed by habitat destruction and overfishing, emphasizing that the marine environment is critical to the local economies of both communities. Participants provided many ideas to ensure a sustainable future for their fisheries. These included developing a marine protected area around the mangrove islands near Zeila and putting lobster fishing regulations in place in Bander Beyla. Both strategies will need further discussion, planning, and research before they can be implemented, but these meetings show that the co-management-facilitated communication between the government and communities can result in positive outcomes for community members and the marine environment.