Fisheries sector of Pakistan has lot of potential; however it can be developed with the active support of all stakeholders including Federal and Provincial Government. This was stated by Tameezuddin Khero, Secretary Livestock and Fisheries, Sindh speaking as the Chief Guest during webinar organized by National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) in connection of World Fisheries Day 22.
The theme of the webinar was “Protecting Marine Fisheries Resources of Pakistan – Way Forward towards Sustainable Fisheries”. He emphasized that there is a need to empower the provincial fisheries domain as per 18thAmendment. He also suggested thatall stakeholders including sea food processing industry, fisherman, harbour authorities, and government regulators have to align their efforts and work together to improve the situation.
Vice Admiral (Retd) Ahmed Saeed HI(M), Director General National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) in his opening remarks welcomed the Chief Guest, speakers and the participant and highlighted NIMA’s efforts towards development of country’s maritime sector. He said, there is a need to transform fisheries sector for the economic development of the country.
Earlier as a moderator of the webinar, Director NIMA Karachi Cdre (Retd) Ali Abbas SI (M), highlighted that World Fisheries Day is celebrated every year to emphasis the importance of healthy ocean, stocks assessment and ensuring workable practices for sustainable fisheries and also to show solidarity to all fishing community and the concerned stakeholders.
On the occasion, the keynote speaker Engineer Faisal Iftikhar, CEO Deep Blue Seafoods underlined the challenges faced by the fisheries sector.
Mentioning about the stock assessment report, he said that almost80% of the fish stock has been depleted. However, he proposed to promote aqua culture practices as an alternative for fisherman community to reduce the pressure in fish stock.
Mr. M. Moazzam Khan, Technical Advisor WWF, Pakistan, mentioned the depletion of various species of fish and shellfish.
He highlighted the significance and need for protecting marine fisheries resources to promote sustainable fishing practices. He recommended that the reduction in post-harvest losses will ensure additional raw material as well as fetching better prices.The webinar also featured two renowned Iranianfisheries experts, Dr. Farhad Kaymaram and Dr. Tooraj Valinasaab, who presented their papers and shared intellectual insights. They highlighted the issue of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing practices as the main cause of depleting the fish stock resources especially Yellow finTuna and recommended to all the stakeholders to work together ensuring compliance for conservation and management measures for sustainable fish stock. Dr. Valinassabal so stressed upon need for Pakistan, Iran, Oman and other regional countries to work together.In concluding remarks, the Chief Guest appreciated the efforts of NIMA for organizing the webinar on such important topic and provided a platform to deliberate on issues and challenges related to Fisheries. The event was attended by Government Officials, Marine Scientists, Consultants, Representative of Fishermen from Sindh and Balochistan and other core stakeholders of Fisheries Sector.