In a move to compensate fish farmers in case of any disaster, the Sindh government has decided in principle to register the private ponds and fish farms in the province. A law would be drafted shortly,Business Recorder learnt here on Tuesday.
Informed sources told BR that authorities of Fisheries Department have taken this decision in a meeting held at the office of Fisheries Department a few days ago. The meeting observed that there were thousands of private ponds and fish farms but the department had not completed any data although it could regulate these farms due to non-availability of any provincial act in this regard.
The meeting agreed in principle to draft a law in this regard which would be subsequently tabled in Sindh Assembly for a final approval, sources added. Later, Secretary Livestock and Fisheries Syed Abid Ali Shah briefed the Minister for Fisheries, Zahid Bhurgri about this decision and got his approval as well, they said. When contacted, Abid told Business Recorder: “Yes, the Fisheries Department is ready to regulate private ponds and fish farms through a provincial act.”
He said law experts would start preparing the draft after Eid-ul-Fitr and then the bill would be moved to Law Department for legal opinion. Later, the bill would be moved to Sindh Assembly Secretariat for onward tabling in provincial assembly, he added. Abid said with a proper act, the Fisheries Department would start registration process of all private ponds and fish farms of the province.
He said during floods of 2010 and heavy rains of 2011, a large number of private fish farms were damaged but the department could not made proper estimates of losses and also could not compensate fish farmers only because of lack of proper information. But, when we would register all private fish farms, the department could calculate losses in case of any disaster in future and fish farmers would be duly compensated, Abid added.
Sources said approximately 368 private fish farms were damaged on 16,352 acres land. Similarly, thousands of people suffered losses of about Rs 550 million on account of destruction of poultry farms. More than 900 private poultry farms were damaged and over 2.5 million birds died or washed away on these farms due to heavy rains of 2011. But due to non-provision of any law, the Sindh government could not compensate fish farmers, they concluded.