Steps Urged for Effective Management of Pakistan's Fisheries

8 January 2014, at 12:00am

PAKISTAN - More effective fisheries management is needed in Pakistan to help control illegal fishing and to implement laws for the better protection of threatened fisheries resources.

A one-day training workshop on “Fishing Practices, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Monitoring Control and Surveillance in Pakistan” which was jointly organized by Marine Fisheries Department, Government of Pakistan and WWF-Pakistan, was held to discuss the issue.

The workshop was attended by officers and sailors of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and covered fisheries practices being used in Pakistan including illegal fishing gears; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and effectiveness of the monitoring and surveillance system, reports PakistanObserver.

The speakers at the workshop stressed for improved collaboration regionally and strengthened their legal frameworks to take effective action against IUU fishing vessels. Muhammad Moazzam Khan gave a detailed presentation on the background of IUU fishing and pointed out that legal fishermen were seriously affected by IUU fishing activities, which was plundering of the natural fisheries resources, cheating coastal communities that depend on fish for sustenance and income, undermining the position of law-abiding commercial fishermen, affecting scientific assessments and deceiving consumers.

Muhammad Wasim Khan, Project Director Marine Fisheries Department gave details about the fish stock status in Pakistan. Zafar Imam, Deputy Director (Training) Marine Fisheries Department outlined the need for quality control system being implemented in Pakistan to improve fish export and to reduce post harvest losses. Umair Shahid, Tuna Fisheries Officer of WWF-Pakistan said that IUU operation threatened food supply and livelihoods of fishing communities.

He maintained that it created significant environmental damage and promoted tax evasions. He also informed that 50 percent global IUU was carried out in Western and Eastern Indian Ocean. He described in details the efficacy of satellite technology in combating IUU fishing. He further stressed the need for supporting national institutions so that they may play pivotal role in management of fisheries.