KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was on Monday informed that possession of the sea fisheries at the zero points of Thatta and Badin had been handed over to the local fishermen.
Furnishing a statement and replying to the written and oral queries of the lawmakers from opposition benches during the assembly’s Question Hour, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Abdul Bari Pitafi said that the provincial government got the area withdrawn from the occupants to hand it over to the local fishermen.
To a supplementary question, he said that 450 million tonnes fish was exported last year. He said that almost entire catch from the sea and other inland fisheries was exported.
He stressed upon the need of promoting inland fishing and said that the target of the department was to bring scientific and artificial ways of enhancing fishing.
Fisheries minister says 450 million tonnes fish exported in 2018
The minister also urged the need to decrease fish trawling in the sea and said that marine life should be preserved. “We want fish trawling to be decreased so as to ensure controlled fishing from the sea as well as facilitating our local fishermen,” he added.
He said that the department was taking measures to revive marine life in lakes, informing that 800,000 and 600,000 fish were released in Manchhar and Keenjhar lakes, respectively.
No livestock census conducted since 2006
Replying to a question from Arif Mustafa Jatoi of the Grand Democratic Alliance, the minister said there was no contract system in vogue for freshwater fishing across the province.
“We have a licence system and only the bona fide fishermen receive the licences under the Sindh Fisheries Rules 1983 and Sindh Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2011,” he said.
Mr Pitafi said that the fisheries department earned over Rs1m against the fee for licences during the past six months.
To another question by Mr Jatoi, he said that the last livestock census was conducted in 2006, while the next census was scheduled to be held in 2016 but could not be held due to multiple reasons, including the devolution of powers under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.
He explained that conducting the census was the responsibility of the federal government as livestock was in the federal domain before the constitutional amendment.
The minister also mentioned financial constraints in this regard and added that efforts were, however, under way to computerise the livestock data.
Livestock population stands at 22.7m in 2018
The minister said that the estimated population of livestock animals was 15,417,883 in 2008, and the number was estimated to be 22,769,419 in 2018.
He said that the estimated numbers of cows and buffaloes in 2018 were 11,703,622 and 11,065,797, respectively.
The minister also informed the assembly that Tharparkar topped in the number of livestock in the province.
To a supplementary question, he said that he did not have the number of sheep and goats in the province. However, he said that he would furnish the figures soon.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2019