Pakistan reports decline in seafood exports

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
22 November 2006, at 12:00am

PAKISTAN - After a phenomenal growth in the last financial year, the Pakistan's seafood exports slowed down in the 1st quarter of current financial year and exporters are fearing that this is the only a sign of the things to come.

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During the 1st quarter of the financial year 2006-07, Pakistan exported US$44.04 million, a slight decline of 0.84 percent compared to last year.

Although the decline seems inconsequential, exporters saw as a harbinger.

The country exported an all-time high of US$196 million of seafood during just two years ago.

Pakistan's seafood industry has been buffeted by a series of political and structural problems the past two years, preventing it from reaching its full potential.

Sardar Hanif Khan, Chairman Pakistan Seafood Industries Association (PSIA) said that the slight decline in seafood export was due to reduction in tuna exports, which saw phenomenal growth last year.

He also pointed out that excessive fishing is also taking a toll on the countries' fisheries stocks because of the reported increase in juvenile and trash fish.

Since the landing of fish has declined, there has been insufficient supply of fisheries material to processors. The high energy costs required to make fishing trips also deterred fishermen from putting out to sea, further strangling supplies.

Hanif Khan proposed that the country's seafood exports to be increased gradually through shrimp farming, conceding that fisheries stock are unable to sustain this growth on a long-term basis.

Holding up Saudi Arabia, which set up aquaculture farms in the desert, as an example, he said Pakistan, with a long coastal line, should have been able to do better.

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