23 of 30 November 1985
Article 1 - Definitions -
For the 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 Ministry.
Article 3 - Fishing
The Ministry shall compile statistical data and other related
information regarding fishing and coordinate and administer and publish
information regarding Somali fishery activities.
Article 4 - Fishery
The Ministry is responsible for implementing the development of
fishery activities in the country.
Article 5 - Prohibitions -
(1) It 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.
(2) It is also forbidden to anybody to
possess equipment or materials which can cause damage to aquatic animals in the
(3) It is also forbidden to sell or
exchange fish or other aquatic animals caught as stated in paragraph 1 of this
Article 6 - Seasonal
Closing Period -
The Minister 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;
(i) the type of fishing;
(ii) the method of fishing and the
(iii) 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 products;
(iv) location for fishing;
(v) the number of the fish or other aquatic animals which may be
(vi) the period in which the licence is to be valid;
(vii) a description of the Assistant Captain, the management, the
name and the licence of other auxiliary ships;
(viii) a description of Somali cooperation or other interest in the
(ix) any other information requested by the Ministry;
(x) bank guarantee.
(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 -
Any person 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 -
The Minister 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 resources.
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
(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 International Law.
Article 11 - Traditional
and modern fishing -
The Ministry 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 traditional fishing.
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 engines);
(b) (1) with a fine of So. Sh. 10,000 to So. Sh. 15,000 in
the case of small boats with 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 with engines of HP 31 to HP
(3) with a fine of So. Sh. 31,000 to So. Sh. 50,000 in
the case of small boats with engines of HP 61 to HP
(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.
If the 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
(a) uses explosive material;
(b) fishes or possesses materials or equipment in prohibited areas;
(c) fishes in the closed period;
(d) fishes prohibited type of fish or other aquatic animals;
(e) fishes 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 -
The Somali Navy Force shall have the powers and the responsibility
for the enforcement of this law.
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
(2) All fish and other aquatic animals found in the ship may also be
(3) All offences under this law shall come under the competence of the
National Security Court.
Article 15 - Administrative
Unless the offence constitutes a crime punishable with a more
serious penalty, the Ministry shall discuss the matter with the authorities
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 law.
(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.