Deep-sea fishing licences to be issued in two weeks: minister –

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi has said that new deep-sea fishing licences will be issued in two weeks.

During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs on Monday, he said the capacity building of fishermen was imperative with a focus on sustainable fishery in the Arabian Sea for uplifting of the fisheries sector in Pakistan.

“We have been suspended by the European Union for two years, but nobody can do anything because there is a need for up-gradation of fisheries,” he added.

The minister criticised the Sindh government for not maintaining the Karachi Fish Harbour as per the international standards.

The officials of the ministry of maritime affairs informed the committee that the EU team wanted to visit the Karachi Fish Harbour and “we have asked the Sindh government to at least clean the auction hall which is like a garbage place”.

Additional Secretary Maritime Affairs Mohammad Asad said the exporters wanted conditions to be improved, but the subject was under the provincial government.

“Besides we have a six acre plot with facilities to breed shrimps at Hawkesbay, but it can only be made operational with collaboration of the Sindh government,” he said.

Senator Usman Khan Kakar suggested that officials of fisheries departments of Sindh and Balochistan should be called by the committee to develop coordination between the provinces and the federal government.

The committee discussed the issue of non-payment to the dockworkers at Port Qasim Authority. Mr Kakar had raised the issue.

The meeting was informed that the workers employed by a Chinese company that operates Sahiwal coal power project wharf 3 & 4 at Port Qasim were managed by the company to handle imported coal.

The committee was told that the Chinese company wanted that all workforce had to be streamlined, besides they needed only 100 workers but the dockworkers had a strength of 18,000.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2019


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