Fisheries Co-Management in the Somali Region

Secure Fisheries supports community-based fisheries management in the Somali region. Cooperative management (co-management) is defined as a partnership between the government and resource users to provide an equitable and effective governance structure for fisheries management. Around the world, co-management has been a successful strategy for developing more sustainable, equitable, and effective management systems in small-scale fisheries. 


fisheries co-management

                                                                   Graphic adapted from Fishery Co-Management: A Practical Handbook by R.S. Pomeroy and R. Rivera-Guieb


In the Somali region, fishing cooperatives have existed for decades, and the government and local fishing communities have started moving towards more formal fisheries management. Secure Fisheries is currently partnering with two fishing communities—in Bander Beyla, Puntland and Zeila, Somaliland—to support the establishment of co-management associations. The goals of the new co-management associations include giving communities a clear method of communication with the government, providing a means to resolve conflicts as they arise, building local ownership over coastal and marine resources, and developing fisheries management plans that are profitable and environmentally sustainable for the long-term. 

Community members have participated in training events to improve vocational skills along the fisheries value chain, covering topics such as business administration skills, boat mechanics, and net making. Workshops, including those on ecosystem mapping and environmental education, have helped to collect and enhance local environmental knowledge. Somali government representatives have also participated in co-management training sessions in Hargeisa, Nairobi, and Bosaso. Fisheries resource users in Bander Beyla and Zeila have partnered with representatives of the regional government to co-develop and sign power sharing agreements, formalizing the co-management associations. 

For more on the co-management process, see our report Co-management Associations in the Somali Region: A guide for government and change agents, which outlines each step of the process, and covers some of Secure Fisheries’ key takeaways and lessons learned. 

Secure Fisheries Co-management Research