What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The positive Somali spill-over?

Having discussed, towards the end of last year, how supposedly toxic "failed states" of the international (i.e. interstate) system in fact come to absorb a lot of spill-over effects themselves, like illegal fishing for example, here is the same thing from another aspect: pirates fighting back may represent a positive effect, creating a positive externality, for others around. Kenyan fishermen are quite happy with piracy off the coast of Somalia, apparently. Quote:
"In past years, illegal commercial trawlers parked off Somalia's coast and scooped up the ocean's contents. Now, fishermen on the northern coast of neighboring Kenya say, the trawlers are not coming because of pirates.
"There is a lot of fish now, there is plenty of fish. There is more fish than people can actually use because the international fishermen have been scared away by the pirates," said Athman Seif, the director of the Malindi Marine Association."
Do note also, however, that:
"fishermen here acknowledge the horror of the attacks — they occasionally are harassed by pirates themselves."
Altogether it is a complex tale, and AP covers it well for a wire report. The illegal fishing in Somali waters, which used to be worth between $90 million and $300 million, certainly helped create piracy. And it is certainly ironic how "nations contributing warships to anti-piracy efforts are in some cases directly linked to the foreign fishing vessels." But this does not justify holding over 200 hostages, and perhaps the Kenyan bright side of piracy is suddenly overstated somewhat. Fishing in Kenya is apparently much more significant around Lake Victoria.

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