September 30, 2003



Pakistan's New Fishing Policy To Boost Growth


Pakistan has enacted a new fishing policy to protect the interests of small fishermen and raise foreign exchange earning through export of fishery products, laying down a number of initiatives by the federal and provincial departments for boosting up the production of fisheries sector.

According to official sources these measures include strengthening infrastructure facilities, improving services, introducing new aquaculture techniques, diversifying fishing efforts and developing better post harvest techniques. These would be achieved through the innovation of value added products which will increase per capital consumption and enhancing socio-economic conditions among the fishing community.

Pakistan exports reasonable quantities of shrimp and fish and earns a substantial amount of foreign exchange. In 1999 alone, 90.384 million tonnes of fishery products were exported to Japan, USA, UK, Germany, Middle East and other countries, the sources said.

Marine Fisheries Department is also executing a project to develop shrimp farming, the sources said.

Fishery not only plays an important role in the country's economy but is also an important source of livelihood for coastal inhabitants. Besides, the country also has inland fisheries in its rivers, lakes, ponds and dams which provide a very important source of animal protein, the sources said.

Due to substantial increase in the fish catch, the fisheries sector posted a growth of 8.5 percent during the fiscal year 1999-00 as compared with 0.6 percent recorded in the preceding year, the sources said.

Under the new policy deep sea fishing operation will continue but heavy penalties enforced by the National Fishery Development Board would be ensure that huge vessels do not intrude into areas beyond 35 nautical miles.

According to the sources, during 1999-00 the marine fishing recorded a growth of 9.5 percent, while the inland fishing posted a growth of 7.1 percent, reflecting a significant growth in fisheries sector.

Pakistan's total fish production during 1999-00 was estimated at 627,000 million tonnes.