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January 22, 2021

Fishermen’s moot demands permission for fishing without harassment

Karachi

January 22, 2021

Speakers at a fishermen’s convention on Thursday demanded of the government to provide basic necessities to the fishing community, allow free access to fishing without any harassment, and impose a ban on deep-sea trawlers.

The Pakistan Bonafide Fishermen Forum (PBFF) and the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) jointly organised the convention at Baba Island. The moot was attended by a large number of fishermen from various parts of the city.

Speakers, including PBFF leader Zahid Bhatti, PFF chairman Muhammad Ali Shah and fishermen community leaders Muhammad Hussain and Haji Ali, said the government and policymakers had completely ignored the fishermen, the founders of the city, and because of it, the community had been living a miserable life.

They deplored the fact that fishermen in their neighborhoods were deprived of water, education, health, electricity, gas, roads, livelihood, and other basic necessities of life.

Ill-planning and controversial policies of the policymakers had affected the livelihood of fishermen, while some federal and provincial security institutions were harassing them in the name of security when they went on fishing in the sea, speakers said.

“They are being deprived of their livelihood as if they were fishermen in another country,” said a speaker. Presenting the fishermen’s charter of demand, leaders demanded that in the name of security, fishermen should not be harassed, and deep-sea trawlers should be banned immediately.

Marine pollution could become dangerous and therefore domestic and industrial waste should not be thrown into the sea, they urged. They also demanded that the use of harmful nets should be banned, and in order to protect mangrove forests, their cutting should be stopped.

They demanded that the children of fishermen should be provided jobs in institutions and departments linked with the sea, such as the Pakistan Navy, Maritime Security Agency, Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority, Sindh Fisheries Department and Karachi Fish Harbour Authority.

They also said that rates of consumable goods were increasing on a daily basis, but prices of fish and shrimp fixed in 1982 continued to date in the market. “Prices of inputs like diesel, ration and net have also increased, but traders and owners of the factories are offering them lower rates. Thus, prices of fish and shrimp should be revised,” they demanded.

They said that during the ban on fishing in June and July, each and every fisherman should be provided an allowance of Rs20,000 per month by the government, their lives insured, their rights protected, and a Sindh Sustainable Policy formulated.