Deep sea fishing trawlers depletes fish resources, forces fishermen to starve: Sindh Chief Minister

Karachi, May 26, 2016 (PPI-OT):Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said the deep sea fishing policy of the federal government under which trawlers are allowed deep sea fishing have depleted the fish resources in the territorial limits of the province. “This is quite depressing to know that a small country like Vietnam is earning and 12 million while our seafood export hardly stands at $650 million.”

This he said while talking to Federal Minister for Natural Food Security and Research Sardar Sikandar Bosan in a meeting held here at the CM House to discuss new deep sea fishing policy. The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Jam Khan Shoro, Principal Secretary Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Fisheries and Livestock Ramzan Awan and others.

Federal Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat said that the federal government was serious and sincere to frame new fishing policy in consultation with provincial government. “This is why I have come here to discuss these issues with you (CM) so that an acceptable policy can be framed,” he said.

The chief minister said that the federal government was reluctant to implement 18th amendment in true letter and spirit. “The sea is flowing along Sindh and Balochistan but the federal government was issuing licenses to the trawlers for deep sea fishing,” he said and added that these trawlers have so sensitive nets that they destroy/kill fish seedlings in a single sweep in great quantity and then they sell the trash to fish meal factories.

He said that this kind of approach may bring in some handsome amount in the national kitty but it renders thousands of fishermen jobless because this exercise depletes fish resources. “This policy must be revisited because it is against the people of Sindh and Balochistan,” he said.

Provincial Minister Jam Khan Shoro said that there were 1.2 million fishermen working in Sindh. “They have almost turned from poor to poorest because there no fish is left in the sea,” he said and added that the fishmeal factories authorized/licensed by the federal government have also started catching fish seedlings. Millions of seedlings are used in the fishmeal. They are also responsible for destroying our fish resources.

The federal government must revise its territorial limits because it is collecting tax from here and earning money on the licenses it is issuing to deep sea fishing trawlers and from the fishmeal factories but it has not given a single scheme for development of harbour.

Federal Minister Sardar Sikandar Ali Bosan said that the territorial limits or zone are very much clear. From zero point to 12 Nautical miles the sea belongs to provincial government. From 12 to 20 NM the water have been declared as buffer zone but even then the provincial government is allowed to operate up that area. From 20 to 200 NM the waters belong to the federal government.

Provincial Minister Jam Khan Shoro said that the distribution of the territorial limits in terms of fishing should be given to the provincial government. “We (the Sindh govt) look after the fishermen, we develop their jetties and harbours and the federal government never contribute a single penny in this sector,” he deplored.

The chief minister said that the federal government under the 18the amendment was bound to hand over Korangi Fish Harbour to Sindh government but sorry to say under one or the other pretext it goes on retaining it. “I have taken up this matter in CCI and further fight it out there, he said. On this Sikandar Hayat said that there should be a consultative meeting between the federal and the provincial governments to propose new fishing policy.

The chief minister suggested three names, Fisheries Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Chief Secretary Siddique Memon and Secretary Fisheries Ramzan Awan from Sindh and the federal minister would form his team and both the teams would discuss and frame the policy.

Subsidy on AGRI Input

The Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim ali Shah said that the price of agricultural inputs have gone up so high that the growers despite day and night hard work and proper care of his crop takes a thin profit. ‘Taking the opportunity of your (Federal Minister Sikandar Hayat) presence I request you to give my message to the prime minister to give substantial subsidy on agricultural inputs,” he said.

He said that the polices of federal government were only Industry-friendly and it has not done any commendable service to agriculture sector. “I would personally request the prime minister to consider the problems of agriculture sectors seriously and announce a good subsidy package on the agricultural inputs in the forth-coming budget,” he said.

He added that the Sindh government was contributing a lot in the development of agricultural sector by giving good support prices to wheat, sugarcane and cotton but now “it is the turn of the federal government to extend helping hand to the growers,” he said. The federal minister assured the chief minister that he would convey his message to the prime minister in the same words as he has given to him.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Allah Bachayo Memon
Press Secretary
Chief Minister House
Tel: +92-21-99202019
Cell: +92-300-3524057 (Ext: 336)