A cargo ship carrying thousands of livestock sank off the coast of Gulf of Aden, local authorities in Somalia have said.Somalia: Cargo ship sinks off Gulf of Aden, crew members missingThe ship was sailing from Somalia to the United Arab Emirates when it encountered high waves and strong winds.

According to an official in the autonomous state of Puntland where the ship had embarked its journey from, all of the livestock perished as the ship sank. He added that 29 crew members were rescued by another vessel, but still two of the crew are missing.

The cargo was for local businessmen based in Puntland merchants having businesses in the UAE.

Livestock is the mainstay of the Somali economy, contributing 40 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Every year, Millions of animals are exported through the ports of Berbera in Somaliland and Bossaso in Puntland.

Approximately $250 million is generated from the export of goats, sheep and camels to the Gulf countries annually. In a report released weeks ago by the Food and Agricultural organization (FAO), Somalia recorded one of its highest exports of livestock in a single year since the collapse of the central government in 1991 by transporting 5 million livestock to markets in the Gulf of Arabia.

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