Karachi, November 20:“Pakistan has an enormous potential in the fisheries and seafood sector and it can become a lucrative revenue earner if it is developed properly,” said Zahid Ali Burghari, Sindh Minister of Fisheries.
He was speaking at the Karachi Fish Harbor on Friday where a large number of fishing boats were on display after having been upgraded to international standards by the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) in collaboration with the Government of Sindh and the Karachi Fish Harbor authorities.
Previously these boats lacked necessary basic equipment like warning system and alarms, chilling and storage units besides a string of other facilities that are mandatory for fishing boats as per EU guidelines.
Fishermen expressed their appreciation over the changes made to the boats and said it would help the quality and quantity of the overall catch besides providing them much needed security.
CSF has been involved in improving the fishery sector in Pakistan because this industry has a competitive advantage and potential to grow, said Arthur Bayhan, CEO of the CSF.
Pakistan has a fish and seafood industry that includes ancillary industries worth US$1.2 billion. More than one million people rely directly or indirectly on this industry. Pakistanis eat less than 2.5kg of fish per year, one of the lowest per capita consumption in the world. The average consumption per year per capita is around 15kg.
CSF is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It has carried out an Action Plan for Fish Quality and Value Adding at Karachi Fish Harbor (KFH) by identifying the obstacles and problems that the harbor faces.