The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) handed over 12 fishing vessels with inboard diesel engines to Puntland State authorities on Wednesday.
The vessels are meant for local fishing co-operatives working on the Puntland coast.
"The vessels are another contribution from the Coastal Communities Against Piracy (CCAP) Project, generously funded by the European Union, which works to develop a vibrant fisheries sector that harnesses the great potential offered by Somalia's coastline by providing decent employment opportunities young people along the fisheries value chain," said John Purvis, FAO's CCAP Project Manager in Somalia.
The boats will be distributed among various fish farmers in the state in an effort to boost their produce for income-generating activities.
"Puntland state is committed to ensuring that these vessels contribute to generating income and opportunities to youth in the coastal communities of Puntland. We thank you FAO and the European Union for their longstanding and continued support to develop our fisheries sector," said Abdiqani Gelle Mohamed, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Puntland State of Somalia.
Despite having the longest coastline of Africa, Somalia's fisheries sector still holds a huge potential to be developed. It is currently estimated to only account for roughly one percent of Somalia's Gross Domestic Product.
FAO believes developing a solid fisheries sector is crucial not only to put a halt to illegal activities in the sea but also for improving Somalia's food security.
The fisheries sector is key to boosting fish consumption among the population, thereby improving Somalia's fragile food security situation.