ISLAMABAD: The government was determined to take the export of fish up to three billion dollars, from 400 million dollars, said Parliamentary Secretary for Maritime Affairs Jamil Ahmed Khan in the National Assembly.
Responding to a supplementary question during question hour on Thursday, he said, “Pakistan fishing market has the capacity to export about 2 to 3 billion Dollars fish, while we are earning only 400 million dollars through exporting fish.”
He said : “The government is determined to achieve the target by following the international standards.” He further informed the House that about 200 to 300 million daily tones of fish was being smuggled to neighboring countries. “They (smugglers) had been selling fish at cost of two to three dollars in the international market, while the price of the fish was six to eight dollars at present if it was sold through legal means” he added.
“We are determined to curtail the smuggling and developing a mechanism to end it. Presently 15,000 vessels are operating to catch fish of which only 4000 are registered” he added.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that draft of deep fishing policy was ready and soon it would be tabled in the Cabinet for approval.
He said that Pakistan will sign the Cape Town Agreement (CTA) after bringing the vessels at par the international standard. He said that presently about Rs 2.5 to 3.0 million are required to upgrade a single vessel.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that government was considering to ratify the CTA agreement after consultation with all stakeholders i.e provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan, Ministries of Law and Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs and Defence.