Authorities in the self-declared republic of Somaliland in northwest Somalia said 81 Yemenis were fined and deported to their home country for fishing illegally in the southern port town of Berbera, officials said Friday.
The fishermen, captured by the local coastal guards last week with six fishing boats, were found guilty of illegal fishing by a regional court in the eastern Saahil Province, Abdalla Mohamed Ali, Mayor of Berbera, the provincial capital of Saahil, told Xinhua by phone from the coastal town.
Ali said the court fined the men but he did not elaborate the amount, adding that the fishermen were deported to their home country of Yemen in accordance with the court's ruling.
The mayor said Somaliland coastal guards apprehend the six illegal fishing boats and their crews of 81 fishermen who were "involved in illegal fishing within the territorial waters of Somaliland, around Berbera town".
Colonel Osman Jabril Hagar, Commander of the Somaliland Coastal Guards, said his forces doubled their efforts to combat illegal fishing in Somaliland waters and to fight piracy that has plagued the Gulf of Aden to the north of Somalia.
A number of other foreign illegal fishing boats, mostly from Yemen, were previously apprehend by Somaliland coastal guards and were deported after being found guilty.
Somaliland, which unilaterally declared its independence from rest of Somalia after the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, has not received international recognition. However, the region enjoys relative stability, has its own government, flag, police and military forces and currency.