Sindh Livestock and Fisheries Department has written a letter to European Union (EU) Commission, asking the commission to inspect its fishing fleet that had been modified and upgraded in line with EU specifications. EU banned fish imports from Pakistan in January 2007 for not meeting the required standards. After meeting the standards, a project titled ‘major repair work of jetty structure for fish handling (at) Korangi Fosterages Harbour in Karachi’ has been initiated.
A Sindh Fisheries official said that 800 boats of the fisheries department had so far been upgraded and modified as per EU guidelines. In addition, 142 boats owned by the private sector had also been modified. The fishing boats, the fish harbour and allied facilities had also been modernised paving the way for fish exports to EU. The project included modification of fishing boats and provision of equipment, including ice boxes. Each boat had a wash basin with soap so that fishermen would wash their hands before handling the catch. The project also involved the supply of ice plants to 27 boats initially so that the catch meant for EU could be stored under minus 2 degrees Celsius during the trip.
The EU also requires that data of the netted fish should be recorded before it lands at the fish harbour. Boats returning from the fishing trip will first stop at farms, especially set up to record data about the sailing direction of the boat and exact location of fish catch.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012