WWF-Pakistan lauds the efforts of Sindh Government for legislation on conservation of marine resources
Karachi,Government of Sindh has issued a notification on 18 May 2016 under which a ban has been imposed on catching small sized marine and freshwater fishes, berried (loaded with eggs)lobsters, crab and freshwater shrimp. The amendments to the Sindh Fisheries Ordinance, 1980 also aimed to imposed ban on catching some of the threatened, protected and endangered species including sawfishes, important shark, rays and guitarfishes, dolphins, whales and turtles. WWF-Pakistan congratulates Chief Minister Sindh, Secretary, Livestock and Fisheries Department and Director General (Fisheries) Government of Sindh for proactively taking interest in the legislation, which will help the conservation of marine resources, many of which are under serious threat of over-exploitation.
Use of deleterious fishing gears, relentless trawling and fishing of breeding females are some of threats being faced by the fisheries of Sindh. There has been a serious decrease in fish catch and most of the fishermen now resort catching smaller fish, which ends up in production of low quality fishmeal for local poultry industry and for export. Implementation of this new legislation will help in the recovery of the fish stocks and overall biodiversity of the marine environment.
Pakistan is signatory of a number of international instruments which necessarily require legislations for the protection of some of the important marine animals. Legislation issued by Government of Sindh ensures compliance to some of these instruments as it includes ban on catching of some endangered shark species, whale sharks, mobulid rays, sawfishes, turtles and cetaceans (including whales and dolphins).Pakistan is a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), which requires that tuna fishing boats may have restrictions on catching oceanic whitetip sharks and thresher sharks.
WWF-Pakistan also appreciates inclusion of some freshwater species which are heavily exploited specially catching of juveniles of commercially important species including carps, snakeheads, catfishes and river shad. Catching of juvenile River shad (the famous ‘Palla’) has resulted in interference in the migration of this iconic species as well as an important cause of declination of their stocks in lower reaches of the River Indus. WWF-Pakistan while appreciating this initiative of Government of Sindh also stressed for the need for development of an mechanism which may ensure implementation on the fisheries legislation. WWF-Pakistan offers its fullest support in implementation of the new legislation.
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