July 17, 2008

Pakistan government invests US$18 million in local fishing industry



Pakistan fishermen, as well as shrimp and prawn farmers, will receive a US$18 million boost from the government through 15 projects in a bid to aid the faltering fishing industry.


Five schemes are already in progress and will be completed within the next three to five years, said Fisheries Sindh R&D Director Anwarul Islam.


The provincial government will finance 13 of the 15 community development projects, while the federal government will provide monetary support for the Master Plan Development Aquaculture and Shrimp Farming Project. The last scheme is a joint effort between the Sindh Coastal Development Authority (SCDA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Islam said.


Through the schemes, local fishermen will be provided with much-needed facilities, such as housing and modern drinking water supply systems.  


Mr. Islam adds that this is the first time the government came up with initiatives to revive the local fishing industry, which had been neglected in the past.


Pakistan's fisheries sector has registered low sales in recent years. Last year, the EU ban on Pakistan's fish imports sent sales plunging by 24 percent compared to 2006--a below-par performance considering that in 2006, Pakistan's fish exports only accounted for 0.25 percent of world exports.

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