KARACHI: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) underlined a need of an effective steering government body to capitalise on three billion dollars export potential of marine fisheries.
TDAP, in a report, criticised Fisheries Development Commissioner, Marine Fisheries Department and Fisheries Development Board for failure in effective development of the industry.
TDAP said 90 percent of exported fish is unprocessed, which yields low revenue, while lack of supporting industry such as specie breeding and fish feed mills adversely impacted the supply chain.
TDAP recommended public-private partnership in establishing feed mills and specie breeding, which would improve the supply chain, while developing processing infrastructure on international standards would promote value-addition, thus fetching more revenue.
Fish and fish preparations fetched $217.251 million during the first seven months of the current fiscal year, which is 5.4 percent lower than the exports of $229.65 million in the corresponding period last year.
TDAP said the country’s 814-kilometre coastline is highly under-utilised due to abundance of dead zones, lack of marine aquaculture and environmental pollution.
TDAP also advocated development of small and medium enterprise clusters to promote sustainable aqua and shrimp culture with emphasis on organic farming.
The steady increase in demand for organic food stimulated a growing interest in organic farming.
Organically produced foods offer an alternative source of hygienic food to consumers with food safety and environmental quality in mind.
Farmed organic fisheries products offer 30-40 percent price premium.
The country requires balanced resource management, while the government should focus on new policy, which should maintain satisfactory management for the regulation of the fish industry for inland fisheries and coastal and deep water fisheries.
TDAP said there are no research and development, no brands and no participation in fisheries trade exhibitions. The authority recommended participation in trade exhibitions particularly in China.