Somali pirates now protect illegal fishing ships

Associated Press reports that, according to a recent report from the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, pirates have now begun to offer their services protecting illegal fishing vessels in their waters. 

This ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ approach is ironic if true, given that pirates have long cited illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing by foreign fleets as a key element that made so many Somali fishermen turn to piracy in the first place. The AP report says that the UN quotes officials in the South of Puntland who have estimated that up to 180 illegal Iranian and 300 Yemeni vessels are fishing in the waters off Northern Somalia and are being given protection by pirates.