Somalia has many resource endowments. The most notable resources are the large fertile land, the livestock and the marine resources. Research shows that according to our migration from the rural to the urban, the number of livestock dropped. The agricultural production is also too weak. In addition, we do not know how to make use of our marine resources.
Allah endowed Somalia the second largest coast in Africa, which reaches 3333km long. It was identified that our coast has many resources including oil, fish, and other natural resources.
Somalia has five ports locate in Mogadishu, Kismayo, Berbera, Bosaso and Marka. We have a few trained marine soldiers, but not academic graduates from Marine science faculty.
According to the importance of the marine business, there are international public laws as well as private marine laws. Quoting the “Introduction to Law” book written by Dr. M. El-Kaliouby, “the rules of the international public marine laws govern matters such as ship’s nationality and registration, liberty of marine navigation, the rules to be observed by the ships in navigation, and the rules to be followed by the master regarding birth, death and crimes on board. The private marine laws also governs all private marine relations such as carriage of goods or passengers by sea, charter parties, ships sale and mortgage, marine insurance, marine liens or privileges, master and crew’s relations with ship owners, collisions at sea, salvage and general average.”
I do not think that we all aware of all those business transactions that the marine law governs I mentioned in the above paragraph. We did not think before, and we are not ready to learn it right now!
How can we manage our marine resources and protect from the enemies who are illegally fishing and making money from our territory? The answer is simple. We have to study marine science and manage our own marine resources.
The number of universities in the country was drastically increasing recently. As far as I know, there are no graduated students from marine science in south and central Somalia universities. Why should the universities establish marine faculty? Thanks to the few universities who started now, and the students who study. I think they have the best chance to revive and improve our marine resources.
We need to match our educational background and our resource endowments. No veterinary graduates, no agriculture graduates, no marine science graduates, but large number of graduates from other sciences!
While I was writing this article, I remembered the Arab wisdom saying “man laa yamliku quutuhu laa yamliku qaraaruhu”. Roughly translating, “one who cannot manage his own business cannot take his own decision.” If we do not have the knowledge to manage our marine resources, we will not have the ability to take the suitable decisions relates to it.
The most notable justification of Somali pirates was that they are defending our marine resources from the enemies who refused them even to find their daily fish consumption from the coast and contrarily fishing illegally.
We need to ask ourselves why our universities ignored to add marine faculty to their faculties. We know many other faculties who ideally need many facilities, opened and working whatever their qualities. Why we have no students who are ready and encouraging this science? Why we have no public awareness towards it?
We will suffer this problem until we revive marine faculty and find qualified citizens who study such great and important discipline to our nation.