Former UNICEF boss Christian Balslev-Olesen, the Clipper Group partner whose hostage story became the basis for the film Kapringen, Per Gullestrup, and Rear Admiral in the Danish Navy, Nils Wang, join Somali Fair Fishing’s Board.
Fisherman and project manager Kurt Bertelsen Christensen has returned to Denmark from a month in Somaliland further refining Somali Fair Fishing’s plan of action in our upcoming Proof of Concept phase. We’ll shortly be trying, testing and proving our Berbera-based fishery value chain, from sea to stomach, and are assembling the necessary contributions to get underway as soon as possible.
Contributions come in many shapes and sizes, and Somali Fair Fishing believes that everyone can contribute to its aim of establishing a well-functioning fishery value chain – be it in time, money, equipment, skills, contacts or something entirely different.
Three major capacities have just joined development expert and journalist Knud Vilby, internal auditor at Denmark’s National Bank Mahad Aden, General Secretary of the Somali Diaspora Organisation Said Hussein and creative strategist and founder of Bindslev Next Step Claus Bindslev on the Somali Fair Fishing Board:
Christian Balslev-Olesen currently heads the Danish House in Palestine – another bold step in a long career ranging from General Secretary in Dan Chrurchaid to former head of the UNICEF office in East Africa.
His local knowledge and developmental expertise will come very much in handy as Somali Fair Fishing moves forward.
Rear Admiral in the Danish Navy Nils Wang is vocal about his beliefs that the monumental problem of piracy cannot be solved with military presence alone, and that the solutions to the deep-rooted problems lay on land and need to be solved in collaboration with the private sector:
“I’ve decided to join Somali Fair Fishing’s Board because the initiative deals with the long-term combatting of piracy in the shape of a hands-on development projects with a lot of beneficial perspectives”, Wang explains.
Clipper Group partner Per Gullestrup, too, knows what he’s talking about: When the ship ‘CEC Future’ was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden outside Oman in 2008, Gullestrup spent 71 days negotiating ransom and release terms directly with the pirates by way of satellite phones and skype, all whilst the crew of 13 were kept hostage on board.
In the end, the ship was returned and the crew released in a dramatic turn of events that became the basis of the film Kapringen (’The hijacking’) that premiered in September 2012.
“Piracy off the coast of Somalia is a long-term problem that needs to be solved on land. SFF is a long-term initiative, but also a very concrete effort that will show immediate and very noticeable results”, says Gullestrup, who was elected Chairman of the Board at the November 15 General Assembly.
Somali Fair Fishing is moving forward at full speed, and continues its ‘Olsenbanden’ way of doing things: keeping it simple by using the means we have available, from networks to equipment.
Somali Fair Fishing will be back with more on the details of the Proof of Concept phase. Until then: Drop us a line if you can contribute, financially or otherwise. We know you can. Everyone can.