MH60S

Friday, November 14, 2008

Somali Pirates: Chinese Fishing Boat Nabbed


Pirates seize fishing boat, 24 crew off Somalia, China says:
Pirates off the coast of Somalia have seized a Chinese fishing boat and 24 crew including Vietnamese, Philippine and Japanese citizens, Chinese state media reported on Friday. The Chinese vessel was held off the coast of the southern Somali port of Kismanyu late Thursday, the government's official Xinhua news agency reported from Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

The agency quoted an unidentified pirate leader as saying on the local Shabelle radio station in Mogadishu that the 24 crew were all "fine."

The pirate leader claimed that he seized the vessel 30 miles (48.2 kilometres) off Kismanyu because it was fishing in Somali territorial waters and said the crew would be "put before the law and punished accordingly."

But the agency quoted a source with the Chinese Ministry of Transport as saying the ship, the Tianyu No 8, was fishing off the Kenyan coast when it was seized.

The pirates had forced the crew to sail towards the coast of southern Somalia, the Chinese source said.

The ship is owned by the Tianjin Ocean Fishing Company and carried a crew of 15 Chinese, four Vietnamese, three Philippine, one Japanese and one Taiwanese.
Some Somali pirates have long claimed to be acting as a de facto coast guard to protect Somali fishing grounds, as noted in previous posts...see here and here and links therein.

China is invited to send ships to protect their fishing fleet. . .in international waters . . .
Map is my crude attempt at drawing Somali 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone waters based on UNCLOS:

Article56

Rights, jurisdiction and duties of the coastal State in the exclusive economic zone

1. In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has:

(a) sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds;

(b) jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant provisions of this Convention with regard to:

(i) the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures;

(ii) marine scientific research;

(iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environment;

(c) other rights and duties provided for in this Convention.

2. In exercising its rights and performing its duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State shall have due regard to the rights and duties of other States and shall act in a manner compatible with the provisions of this Convention.

3. The rights set out in this article with respect to the seabed and subsoil shall be exercised in accordance with Part VI.

Article57

Breadth of the exclusive economic zone

The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

Article58

Rights and duties of other States in the exclusive economic zone

1. In the exclusive economic zone, all States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy, subject to the relevant provisions of this Convention, the freedoms referred to in article 87 of navigation and overflight and of the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and other internationally lawful uses of the sea related to these freedoms, such as those associated with the operation of ships, aircraft and submarine cables and pipelines, and compatible with the other provisions of this Convention.

2. Articles 88 to 115 and other pertinent rules of international law apply to the exclusive economic zone in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part.

3. In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, States shall have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal State and shall comply with the laws and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part.

On the other hand, most of the outrageous claims of Somali pirates that they are "not really pirates," such as those made here, need to be taken as the load of rubbish they are, especially when the assertion is followed by a threat to go into foreign waters to protect your pirate lifesytle:
While admitting that the influx of foreign navies is making his life more dangerous, he remains defiant: "We will keep carrying out attacks. We are ready for long distance attacks as far as the coast of Yemen."
Exactly whose coast is that in protection of?

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