Leaders of the National Party on Friday demanded that the federal and Balochistan governments cancel licences to deep-sea fishing trawlers, provide compensation to the fishermen affected by natural disasters, and give fishermen the status of labourer.
Adam Qadir Baksh, NP secretary for fisheries, addressed a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, in which he said his party had been demanding basic rights for the people of the Makran region, particularly the coastal areas of Gwadar and Pasni, whose rights had been usurped by the rulers and who were even deprived of basic facilities of drinking water, health and education.
“Since the government has allowed big trawlers to fish along the Makran coast, the local fishermen are not able to earn their livelihood,” he said.
Baksh said deep-sea trawlers had been fishing beyond 12 nautical miles from the baseline, violating the laws.
“The trawlers not only poach fish but also damage nets of local fishermen. Sometimes they also attack local fishermen,” he claimed. “In other words, on the one hand, they are depriving the fishermen of employment and on the other hand, they are inflicting financial and human losses on them.”
The NP leader said that a fisheries ordinance had also been enacted to curb illegal fishing on the coast of Balochistan but in spite of that illegal fishing continued freely along the coast of the province. “The fisheries department has completely failed to curb poaching,” he added. Demanding of the Balochistan government to revive the Pasni Fish Harbour, Baksh said the government should take concrete steps for the development of the fisheries sector and the welfare of the fishing community.
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