Seafood export stagnates as undersized fishing continues

Seafood export
Seafood export

December 26, 2014 – Anwar Khan – BR Report –

The Pakistan’s seafood export has widely stagnated for the continuing unchecked undersized fishing, sending alarms of a complete derelict government that failed to regulate the fisheries sector, exporters said on Thursday. The country’s seafood export stagnated with less one percent growth to $148.500 million in July-November 2014-15 up by just $0.986 million from $147.514 million in July-November 2013-14, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics says.

“As long as the undersized fishing continues, there is no chance for fisheries export growth,” Chairman Pakistan Fisheries Exporters Association, Faisal Iftikhar, adding that the government has to regulate the fisheries sector with stiff rules and their assured enforcement.

In term of volume, Pakistan’s fisheries export could post only three percent or 1551 metric tons growth to 58,008 metric tons in July-November 2014-15 from 56,457 metric tons in July-November 2013-14. Following the stagnant fisheries export, Faisal felt the Sindh Fisheries Department’s failure behind the unchecked use of illegal nets that trawled the seabed to hunt juvenile species mainly not suitable for human consumption. “The department is not helping the crackdown on illegal nets users,” he said.

Warning the government and fisheries stakeholders, he said that the country would lose its stocks ultimately if the deadly fishing practices did not stop. With a view to improve the annual catch volume, he asked the government to enforce much needed and bitter measures to end the continuing undersized fishing to ensure healthy and grown catch across the year. He regretted the stagnant fisheries export.

In November 2014, seafood export surged to $35.387 million from $28.772 million in November 13, up by $6.615 million (23 percent). Seafood export volume grew to 15,520 metric tons in November 2014 from 10,428 metric tons in November 2013, up by 5092 metric tons (49 percent), the figures say.

Fisheries exporters believe the country is unlikely to reach $400 million mark at the end of this fiscal year unless the government takes steps to ensure better fishing practices. The country touched the highest fisheries export mark of $367.472 million last fiscal year but exporters were unsatisfied as the main share of growth was trash and undersized seafood catch.

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