Marine life continues to undergo an unabated perilous onslaught from illegal nets on a regular basis, as the government’s concerned departments failed to import the officially specified meshes to end the tense fishing trends, it was learnt on Saturday.
Seafarers say the continuing use of thin size meshes struck the marine life badly as threat from the harsh fishing techniques to fisheries stocks is ever growing. “A number of species are not available in greater numbers as they were in the past because of poor fishing modes with illegal nets,” they said.
Officials of Karachi Fish Harbour Authority (KFHA) blame the boat owners and fishermen for not complying with fishing codes despite having agreed to quit the use of illegal nets.
Both fishermen and vessel owners are concerned over the lack of government’s response to introduce the approved fishing nets with wider meshes to protect the undersized marine species from early demise.
The KFHA officials say the seafarers and their associations including Fishermen Co-operative Society (FCS), Sindh Trawlers and Boat Owners, Fishermen Association (Stofa) and Native Islanders Fishermen Association (Nifa) are not “serious” to place their orders with the concerned contractors to import nets.
Whereas fishermen and their all associations say “the KFHA and other concerned government departments are indifferent to the suffering of marine life and threats to livelihood of the fishermen community”.
The officials say “the associations are making big hue and cry against banned nets but in real terms they are not serious or interested to cooperate with the fisheries authorities to implement the codes”.
The government should import fishing nets to help fishermen relinquish their old mode-trend which scalded back the fisheries stocks, they demanded, saying “the fishermen are ready to comply with the new fishing codes”.
Marine environmentalists fear the unabated use of illegal meshes for fishing may result in a complete desolation of the country’s rich seas. They say the government should review its indifferent attitude towards marine environment to help sustain the dwindling seafood stocks.
There is also a threat from the industrial toxics spilling over into country’s seas, which forces the coastal species like crabs, shrimps etc, to move offshore or to other coasts. “There would be a huge stock of mud crabs in mangroves forests in creeks but the industrial hazards brought about a complete exodus of the species,” they observe.