The World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) has congratulated the Sindh government for legislation of marine resources as the provincial government through a notification has imposed a ban on catching small sized marine and freshwater fish, berried (loaded with eggs) lobsters, crab and freshwater shrimp.
The amendments to the Sindh Fisheries Ordinance, 1980, was also aimed at imposing a ban on catching some of the threatened, protected and endangered species including sawfish, important shark, rays and guitarfish, dolphins, whales and turtles.
The WWF-Pakistan congratulated the Sindh chief minister and other officials for proactively taking interest in the legislation which would help the conservation of marine resources, many of which were 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,” it said.
“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 export.”
“Implementation of this new legislation will help in recovery of the fish stocks and overall biodiversity of the marine environment.”
The WWF said that Pakistan was signatory of a number of international instruments which necessarily required legislations for the protection of some of the important marine animals.
The legislation issued by the Sindh government 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 Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) which requires that tuna fishing boats may not catch the silky sharks, Oceanic whitetip sharks, thresher sharks, hammerhead shark and whale sharks as well as mobulids. Implementation on this legislation, therefore, ensures compliance to IOTC requirements as well as ensuring conservation of these threatened species.
WWF-Pakistan also appreciated inclusion of some freshwater species which are heavily exploited, especially catching of juveniles of commercially important species including carps, snakeheads, catfishes and river shad.