Experts seek diversification in skills of fishermen to counter depleting fish stock

Experts on Thursday emphasised urgency to diversify and improve professional skills of local fishermen so as to counter steady decline of fish stocks in the local sea waters directly affecting economic conditions of fishing communities, highly dependent upon fisheries.
The event arranged, as part of an ongoing WWF-Pakistan project titled as “Sustainable Fisheries Entrepreneurship: A Citizen Based Approach to Save Pakistan’s Unique Marine Environment”, was held at Ibrahim Hyderi, a coastal village here, and largely attended by fishermen along with other members of fishing communities.
The participants took strong exception to the fact that fisheries and other marine resources in the country have drastically been affected in past few decades mainly due to overfishing, unsustainable fishing practices and marine pollution.
It was observed that one of the major challenges the local fishermen communities were facing was of increasing level of pollution both solid waste and waste water in the marine waters.
Solid waste including organic waste comprising cow dung from cattle colony, piles of plastic waste from the whole city through drains and untreated waste water from Korangi industrial area and Port Qasim was recognised to have significantly polluted the creek waters.
Due to this high level of pollution, participants of the program observed that the fish resources were being fast depleted with direct impact on the earning capacities of communities dependent on sea waters.
They were also of unanimous opinion that training and capacity building programs for fishermen could help address declining fish stocks and provide income generation opportunities to relevant communities.
Since unsustainable fishing practices and pollution were recognised to have emerged as major threat to the marine resources in the country participants appreciated that inauguration of long life fishing boat and distribution of iceboxes among fishermen on the occasion reflected positive development.
Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan, thanked Engro Vopak for their support in getting materialised the provision for fishing boats and distribution of iceboxes among the fishermen.
“The project initiated at three coastal union councils of Karachi including Ibrahim Hyderi, Rehri Goth and Maripur is supported by Engro Foundation,” he said.—APP

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