Fisheries policy aimed at boosting annual production

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan government here yesterday announced its first ever national fisheries policy that sought to increasing annual fisheries production by at least 53,000 tonnes besides enhancing exports of the sea food.

By A Correspondent

Published: Sun 4 Nov 2007, 9:01 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:10 PM

"More than 80 per cent of the catching fish is not fit for human consumption. This results into huge losses for national kitty,", admitted the Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan.

Speaking at a news conference the minister said that 11 new model fish and shrimp farms will be established at a cost of Rs2 billion to reduce the wastages at the catching level besides increasing the production. Of these three will be established in Sindh and remaining will be set up in Balochistan as part of a four year project.

He said that these farms will be constructed in collaboration with private sector to promote fish farming in the country. He said government will give upto 20 per cent incentives to private sector for promotion of shrimp and farming and aquiculture activities. The minister ruled out the impression that the establishment of model farms will neither create any monopoly or sidelined the small player from the business. However, he was not clear whether his ministry has created any standards for protecting domestic consumers from any unhygienic products.

Asked about the sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) law meant for ensuring quality of imported and domestic goods under WTO, the minister said that a project was working on it. However, he was not clear whether the law was ready for implementation or not.

Giving a preview of domestic fisheries production, Bosan said that there would be 53 per cent increase in fisheries production during the upcoming years. Answering a question the minister claimed that new policy would help increase the fisheries export from Rs20 million to Rs1 billion in near future. However, he said that the growth in export can only be materialised in case the level of wastages reduced in the upcoming levels.

Answering a question the minister said that the European Union (EU) regulation was not Pakistan specific but against 10 leading fish food exporters. He said that the ban will remain unchanged until the private sector meets the EU standards. To another question, he said that no license has been issued to any foreign troller for catching fish in the last three years.

Elaborating the salient features of the new policy, Bosan said the policy aim to increase its quality production for export and domestic consumption. Among the prominent features of the policy, a fisheries development board will be established, which will create enabling

environment for private sector for establishment of shrimp farming and aquaculture in the country and assist fisheries organisations in promotion of sector activities in fisheries.

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