The Somali pirates terrorizing the waters weren’t at all like the swashbucklers from children’s books. Instead, the men attacked transport and fishing ships, held crews hostage and then demanded ransoms to let them go. Thousands of miles away, though, a sushi chef in Japan heard about the problem and came up with a solution that was just inventive enough to actually work.
At the start of the 1980s, the Somali fishing industry showed some potential to succeed. During that period, you see, the country’s Ministry of Fisheries joined forced with the Coastal Development Agency to establish a plan to help develop businesses in that arena. In addition, overseas investors saw promise in Somalia’s untouched waters, which were rife with marine life.
And although the Somali government was seemingly looking out for its own people’s small-scale fishing operations, it also gave out licensing deals and made arrangements with other nations such as Italy and Iraq. But just as the industry started taking off, Somalia fell into an internal crisis – and much of the country descended into chaos.