ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Ports and Shipping (MoP&S) avoided claiming responsibility of implementing the rules and regulations to check illegal fishing through nets in the maritime belt of Sindh.
MoP&S shifted the responsibility on the provincial government of Sindh to implement the law about the above said subject.
Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Mian Imtiaz Ahmad while responding to a calling attention notice moved by his own party members in the National Assembly observed that MoS&P was concerned over use of banned net for fishing in maritime belt in Sindh province because it was causing huge loss to fish products.
He said that Ministry had passed on special instructions to the provincial government for the implementation of the said regulations. Similarly, specified net for fishing has also been publicized for the awareness of the fishermen. Moreover, mass awareness campaign regarding damages and losses to fish products in result of banned fishing net has also been launched.
He said that usually, the provincial government monitors the maritime boundaries territorial boundaries, therefore, the provincial government was taking due measures for the preservation of fish products by checking the use of banned fishing nets.
Earlier, the movers of the Calling Attention Notice, Shakir Bashir Awan and Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla sought attention of the House, towards the matter of grave public importance regarding illegal fishing through nets in the maritime belt of Sindh, adversely affecting the growth of fish, causing grave concern amongst the public.
Despite a ban imposed by Government of Sindh; thousands of illegal nets namely “Bullo-Gujjo” & “Katra” are still being used in around 20 creek waters along the Sindh coast every day. These creek waters are spawning & breeding grounds of fish and capture of juveniles, larvae and even eggs before allowing them to become adult and move towards sea, is a serious threat to marine fish resources
Approximately 30 to 40% of catch of each trawler comprises of juveniles / under-sized fish and shrimp. Therefore, there is an urgent need that mesh-size regulations of 55 mm and 25 mm at the cod-ends offish and shrimp trawl-nets, respectively, are implemented with true letter & spirit.
While explaining the state of the affairs on the said subject Mian Imtiaz highlighted steps taken to check the practices of illegal fishing with banned nets. Ministry has already shown serious concern on use of banned nets in the creek waters of Sindh coastal belt and non- compliance of mesh size regulations by the trawling boats employed in the coastal waters.
In order to ensure sustainability in livelihood for present and future generation of fishermen, the Sindh must take immediate corrective measures in combating illegal fishing practices in the creek and coastal waters of Sindh.
Illegal fishing practices have almost ruined the fishermen’s livelihood, compelling them to cross the Indian border in search of a haul. It is not only the illegal fishing practices that have adversely affected Badin’s communities. Odd weather patterns are also playing their part.