26 July, 2014 / Ramazan 27, 1435

THE resumption of seafood exports is not going to give much economic benefit either to fishermen or the country because of poor landings of shrimp and enduring sporadic landings of cephalopods.

The whole fisheries management suffers from lack of planning and control. Fishermen are exploited by unlicensed agents who remain free to conduct their illegal business by dint of black money.

They openly rob payable commissions to fishermen’s cooperative society and do not pay their due taxes. It is they who ruin by their malpractices the fish quality before it is processed.

Unless these ‘scavengers’ are thrown out of the harbour, the fishermen, the industry or product export quality will hardly touch the mark. Local fish prices are already sky high and in some cases even higher than export prices. Cultured shrimp and other fish serve 50 per cent of the world fish need.

Aquaculture is growing at eight per cent per annum. World markets are flooded with cultured prawn and fish. It is unlikely that the EU would pay fair export prices for our fish products if it imports a few species only as fillers in time of shortage.

MAZHAR BUTT Karachi

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