Fisheries in Balochistan remained an ignored sector of its potential economy for the past six decades or more.
Jam Kamal told the Counsel Genreal adding foreign investors can do business on our fisheries sector. Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Aliyani on Wednesday met German Counsel General Mr. Eugen Wolfarth to discussing investment opportunities for Germany in Balochistan.
Discussion on fostering Germany’s assistance in provincial sectors CM Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Aliyani has informed German Counsel General Mr. Eugen Wolfarth regarding investment opportunities in Balochistan particularly in provincial mineral resources.
Pakistan Government failed to develop the fisheries and exploit its unlimited resources that can meet the protein requirement of the entire population of 180 million and can earn sizable foreign exchange worth around five to six billion US dollar a year.
There is no explanation from the officials responsible for planning and development at the highest level for ignoring the Fisheries Sector. Why the unending Mekran Coast was kept backward and its resources not exploited for the benefit of the people of Pakistan? There is no answer. Even the Provincial rulers followed the same pattern of ignorance.
The navigational channel silted up blocking the entry of fishing vessels into the Harbour to unload catch and auction the same to the highest bidders. It took more than a decade to rehabilitate the Pasni Fish Harbour making it functional again. Hopefully, the Provincial Government will purchase a dredging unit ensuring permanent use of the channel for fishing vessels and combat the nature disallowing the silt up in sand storms in the region.
The deadly nets are being used widely by the desperate poachers plundering the sea wealth of Balochistan to the maximum or considering Balochistan as enemy territory and not part of Pakistan. The Balochistan Government should protect the basic interests of the fishermen of Mekran and Lasbela Coast on priority basis and stop poaching by the trawlers from Sindh and also fishing vessels of foreign countries operating close to the Coast.
There is an urgent need for development of entire coast using its wealth and resources for the overall development of Balochistan and with a required speed.
The Provincial Government should prepare a five-year plan for developing the Fisheries Sector ensuring a sizable income to finance the future development in other sectors. There should be a chain of cold storages, fish processing plants, a well equipped fishing fleet with a qualified manpower to operate it.
Facilities for a reasonable price for the fish catch of poor fishermen and preserving them for onward sale to the international market earning valuable foreign exchange.
All the major population settlements on the Mekran Coast should be developed with more fish harbours with all the facilities including processing plants, cold storage packaging for exporting the fish products to outside world. There should be more than one airport or seaport making available the facilities to export the fish products to international markets.
At the moment, the Government should use Pasni or Gwadar airport for exporting seafood to outside world instead of sending them to Karachi first and exporting it later with a risk of devaluing the products or selling it at cheaper prices because the life span of fish products is very short and limited.