KARACHI: Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael has said that the government is evolving a fresh fisheries policy with a clear view to augment export of the country’s key seafood products especially tuna and shrimp species.
Being the chief guest at a seminar on Promoting Rights Based Approaches for Fishermen, jointly organised by WWF-Pakistan and Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) at a hotel to mark World Fisheries Day, he said that the government will include fishermen’s views in exports related policies.
He said that the government is working to promote the fishermen community into the country’s mainstream business affairs. He said that the government will ensure that the fishermen receive a better price for their catch on the local market.
He added that the government plans to import fibre glass fishing vessels which will have general packet radio service (GPRS) facility and life protection tools to help the fishermen carry out deep-sea operations in all weathers without troubles.
Michael said that the government is going to import 50 such boats which the fishermen will be offered on instalments. He promised that the government will ensure a better lifestyle to the seafarer community. He also assured the stakeholders of the government’s seriousness to implement the EU specifications to increase the country’s seafood export especially tuna fish and a variety of shrimp species to the European markets.
He pointed out that the government plans to develop fish harbour and its ancillary packaging units in Gwadar with the help of Belgium. He said the development of the harbour will help fishermen of Gwadar find better price for their catch. Speedy-cargo vessels will be imported to help the country’s seafood export reach gulf nations quickly and at cheap cost, he said, adding that there are about 13 companies interested in bidding for the import of such vessels.
Sindh Fisheries Minister Jam Khan Shoro said that the provincial government is developing fisheries infrastructure to facilitate the fishermen especially building of floating jetties in the creeks. He said Karachi fish harbour is also being upgraded through expansion of facilities on modern lines. He appealed to the federal government to support fisheries projects in the province.
Marine Fisheries Department Director General Shaukat Hussain in his welcome address said the government is taking steps to develop the country’s fisheries sector. Resources are dwindling in the wake of excessive fishing which has badly hit the livelihood of a fisherman. He said the increasing fishing fleet has a serious impact on the marine resources especially in the coastal waters.
Balochistan Fisheries Advisor to Chief Minister Mir Haji Akbar Askani stressed the need for a wider development in the coastal areas with a view to improve living conditions of the poor fishermen. He said that the Balochistan government will fully support the federal government’s development projects in the province.