The challenges of fisheries sector are aggravating for the lack of official priority to settle them on a permanent basis, as the hostile environment is all set to test the new fisheries minister’s abilities to deal with the unattended problems. The former Sindh Fisheries Minister, Zahid Ali Bhurgari left behind a number of key environmental and administrative problems for his successor Jam Khan Shoro to deal with them.
The new minister has to take a number of strict measures at first to streamline the operations at the most irregular sector. “The issue of unabated landing of trash fish and shrimp at fish harbour, the use of destructive nets, fishing in Balochistan waters, FCS lease, drugs and other illegal activities, implementation of master plan etc are the major challenges which the new minister will have to deal with,” fisheries official said.
The government has fixed minimum mesh size for fish and shrimp catch but the fisheries department failed to implement it to avoid growing trash landing of seafood. The destructive nets have been banned in Sindh coast but are being openly used by the strong boat owners in deep sea and sea-lords in creeks, officials added.
Several fishermen were injured and one of them was killed by Balochistan levies inside the provincial waters, officials said, adding that the new minister will have to negotiate with his counterpart to end the violence against his province fishermen. At the fish harbor drugs and other illegal activities like theft continue in the face of authorities, they said, adding the outlaws have to be brought to justice to make the fish harbor a peaceful and conducive seafood business center
There is also an issue of leasing plots to fishermen co-operative society, which dues have grown phenomenally for the last several years. The minister will have to press the FCS to recover the dues. The bigger challenge for Jam Khan Shoro will be the implementation of master plan to develop the fish harbor on modern lines. The evacuation of unauthorised businesses for the harbour and leasing of plots on merit to interested firms, he has to do to make headway for enforcement of master plan.