Zaidi seeks legislators’ cooperation for preserving marine environment


ISLAMABAD: Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi Wednesday sought cooperation of legislators to adopt sustainable models for preservation and protection of marine environment.

He made these remarks while briefing National Assembly Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs.

The meeting, chaired by Mir Amir Ali Khan Magsi, was attended by MNAs Faheem Khan, Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali, Nuzhat Pathan, Usama Qadri, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Begum Tahira Bokhari, Kesoo Mal Kheel Das, Chairman Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) along with senior officials of the ministry.

Ali Haider Zaidi said the ministry has taken various field level initiatives for preservation and protection of marine environment.

He noted that “Approximately, 1.25 million ton garbage and 650 million gallon polluted water per day is being discharged into the sea from Karachi city, due to which marine life on the shores of Karachi is about to end which has affected the fishing industry adversely that was an alarming situation.”

“It’s our collective responsibility to join hands and take up this matter on priority basis and in this regard sustainable models are required and provincial government should help us to make Karachi city clean,” he added.

On the issue of oil-spill at Mubarak Village-Churna Island, the committee was informed that a comprehensive report had been prepared in this regard and would be shared with the committee members.

The Committee chairman asked the ministry to prepare the list of affected local residents and fisherman of Mubarak village and take steps to compensate their grievances.

The minister, while giving his concluding remarks on the matter, stressed for cooperation of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for better outcomes.

Director General Ports and Shipping Asad Rafi Chandna said fisherman should register their boats with the department so that they could be regulated and their issues are addressed in amicable and appropriate manner.

He said according to the recent report of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 80 per cent fish population in the deep sea had vanished.

He claimed that due to overfishing by the fishermen, juvenile fish had also been caught which contributed to the end of fish life from the sea.

MNA Abdul Qadir Patel said that the government should offer small fees to fishermen so they could get registered their boats.

Giving update on the Gwadar Port, the minister said foreign investors were showing their keen interest to invest in different Gwadar projects.

He said the government had been facing many challenges over the port as the electricity was being provided at the site from Iran and there was need of a desalination plant to make sea water useable.

He said the port would start its operations after connectivity through roads and railways network.

The ministry proposed the amendment to overcome the legal objections in the benefit of seafarers, saying that if the master, owner of agent of a foreign ship engages seamen from any port or place in Pakistan, it shall not be necessary for such seaman to enter into an agreement under Section -125 of this ordinance.

“However, the engaged seaman and registered manning agent shall submit the records of engagement on prescribed format in person before shipping master,” he added.