Somali Fishery Law N°
23 of 30 November 1985
Article 1 - Definitions -
purpose of this law, unless the context indicates otherwise:
“aquatic animals” shall means all animals living
in the sea water and inland water including Oyster, Crustacean, Plankton &
“licence” shall mean a permission granted
somebody for fishing, processing or merchandising.
“fishing” shall mean the art or practice of
catching aquatic animals.
“traditional fishing” shall mean fishing in the
coastal areas by using small boats, dhows, etc.
“modern fishing” shall mean fishing in the high
seas by using ships and modern technology such as trawlers.
“administrative decision” shall mean any
administrative resolution or decision taken by the Ministry for solving a
problem or correcting a default.
“Minister” shall mean the Minister of the
Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
“royalty” shall mean the part of the fees or
goods paid by the owner of the ship for fishing in Somali waters.
“inland water” shall mean river water and reservoirs in which the aquatic
animals can live as mentioned in the first para of this Article.
Article 2 - Management -
(1) The Ministry shall be responsible
for the necessary safeguarding and development of the fishery and
the proper implementation of the general control and administration of this law.
(2) The Minister may delegate in
writing his powers under this law to any officer or any employee of the
Article 3 - Fishing
shall compile statistical data and other related information regarding fishing
and coordinate and administer and publish information regarding Somali fishery
Article 4 - Fishery
is responsible for implementing the development of fishery activities in the
Article 5 - Prohibitions -
is forbidden to anybody to carry out any activity or use material or equipment
which may cause death, pollution, injury etc. to the aquatic animals.
is also forbidden to anybody to possess equipment or materials which can cause
damage to aquatic animals in the fishing area.
is also forbidden to sell or exchange fish or other aquatic animals caught as
stated in paragraph 1 of this article.
Article 6 - Seasonal
Closing Period -
may give a written order closing the fishing season, indicating the area, type
of fishing equipment and the fish or aquatic animals. The order shall state the
starting period and closing period. The Minister may also decrease or increase
the limitation period when it becomes necessary.
Article 7 - Fishing
Licence General Provisions -
(1) The Ministry may grant fishing licences for the country sea water and inland
(2) Anyone who is interested in fishing or in rearing fish in inland water shall
have a fishing licence and entrance permit for the country. This licence shall
not concern persons who are not using marine transport.
(3) The Ministry shall grant the applicant the necessary fishing licence and
shall make a separate register for the licence granted by this law.
(4) The application for a fishing licence may be submitted and shall state
briefly the following:
(a) name, description of the ship, flag
and country of registry;
(b) name of the owner, leaseholder, if
any, and captain of the ship;
(c) number of the ship;
(d) description of the fishing activities
requested by the applicant;
type of fishing;
method of fishing and the equipment;
location where the production is to be landed and the description of the
marketing; the final processing of the products and the utilization of the
location for fishing;
number of the fish or other aquatic animals which may be caught;
period in which the licence is to be valid;
description of the Assistant Captain, the management, the name and the licence
of other auxiliary ships;
description of Somali cooperation or other interest in the venture;
other information requested by the Ministry;
(5) The licensed ship shall within 30 days notify the Ministry of any changes
occurring such as the transfer of ownership, lease, etc.
(6) The number of the licence, the name of the ship and the registered port
shall be clearly written and shown on the ship and on the sides of the ship.
Article 8 - Obligations
of the fisherman -
granted a fishing licence shall:
(a) obey the laws of the country and
the regulations of the Ministry;
(b) submit permanent reports regarding
fishing activities: amount, types including by-catch, products, the location and
the method of fishing, the fish and other aquatic animals which can be
merchandised or processed.
Article 9 - Research -
may, in writing permit any person or any ship that possesses an entrance permit
to conduct research on fisheries and other related activities regarding marine
Article 10 - Control
and Inspection -
(1) Anybody practising fishing may be
inspected or searched when necessary. Apart from the
specialised agencies, the regional and district authorities or any other
authorised person may, with the prior approval of the
Ministry, inspect or search any person conducting fishing activities.
(2) Anybody who violates the
provisions of this law shall be taken to the nearest port of the country.
(3) If a ship commits an offence in
Somali waters and crosses the boundary to another country, the
matter will be discussed with the concerned authorities according to
Article 11 - Traditional
and modern fishing -
shall promote the development of traditional and modern fishing activities and
all related matters, with the assistance of the competent government agencies.
It will ensure that modern fishing does not harm or impede the development of
Article 12 - Penalties -
The infringers of Articles 8 and 10 of this law shall be punished:
(a) with a
fine of So. Sh. 1,000 to So. Sh. 10,000 in the case of small boats (without
(1) with a fine of So. Sh. 10,000 to So. Sh. 15,000 in the case of small boats
engines of HP 6 to HP 30;
(2) with a fine of So. Sh. 16,000 to So Sh. 30,000 in the case of small boats
engines of HP 31 to HP 60;
(3) with a fine of So. Sh. 31,000 to So. Sh. 50,000 in the case of small boats
engines of HP 61 to HP 100;
(c) with a
fine of So. Sh. 1,700,000 to So. Sh. 4,000,000 or equivalent in foreign currency
in the case of ships of HP 101 and above.
offence is more serious or the offender commits again the same offence, the
matter shall be dealt with under Criminal Procedure Code.
(2) Anybody who does any of the following, shall be punished with imprisonment
from 3 years to 10 years or a fine of So. Sh. 5,000,000 to So. Sh. 50,000,000 or
(b) fishes or
possesses materials or equipment in prohibited areas;
(c) fishes in
the closed period;
prohibited type of fish or other aquatic animals;
with prohibited materials or equipment.
(3) Anybody who fails to submit the required reports or fails to fulfill the
provisions of this law shall be punished with a fine of So. Sh. 20,000 to So.
(4) Anybody who fails to perform his duties and fails to fulfill the terms and
conditions of the contracts with the Ministry shall lose his licence.
Article 13 - Powers -
Navy Force shall have the powers and the responsibility for the enforcement of
Article 14 - Confiscation
of Property -
(1) If a person commits an offence
under this law, his equipment, engine and any other materials used during the
commission of the offence may be forfeited.
(2) All fish and other aquatic animals
found in the ship may also be seized.
(3) All offences under this law shall
come under the competence of the National Security Court.
Article 15 - Administrative
offence constitutes a crime punishable with a more serious penalty, the Ministry
shall discuss the matter with the authorities concerned.
Article 16 - Regulations
(1) The President of the Somali
Democratic Republic having heard the proposal of the Minister of Fisheries and
Marine Resources, may make regulations for the proper implementation of this
(2) The Minister of Fisheries & Marine
Resources may make regulations regarding the proper management and development
of Fishery activities.
Article 17 - Repeal
and coming into force -
(1) All provisions inconsistent with
the present law shall be repealed.
(2) This law shall come into force
after 15 days from the date of its publication on the official bulletin.