Secure Fisheries supports community-driven fisheries management in the Somali region. Cooperative management (co-management) supports local management efforts, and is a partnership between the government and resource users to provide an effective governance structure for fisheries management. Around the world, co-management has been a successful strategy for developing more sustainable, equitable, and effective fisheries-management systems. Fisheries co-management is particularly well-suited to areas that have low government capacity for central regulation and enforcement coupled with remote fishing communities. Their decentralized clan-based culture, lack of fisheries data, and existing fishing cooperatives make Somali communities good candidates for fisheries co-management. More importantly, there is an appetite for co-management within the government, local fishing communities, and change-agents. We work with local stakeholders within fishing communities and local, regional, and federal governments to facilitate information-sharing and support locally suitable and inclusive co-management systems.
Beyond implementing fisheries management mechanisms, a co-management body can serve as an organizational structure to solve conflicts and make important community decisions. Expanded knowledge about marine resources and training in both fisheries management and governance skills empower community members to advocate their interests to policymakers. Our activities include background research; developing training resources about fish identification, sustainability, data collection, and fisheries management; and facilitating conversations between government officials and community stakeholders.
Secure Fisheries’ report, The Potential for Fisheries Co-management in the Somali Region, combines case studies of fisheries co-management from across Africa with feedback from Somali stakeholders, provided during the Somalia Fisheries Forum 2019, to explore the potential for this approach in the Somali region.