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Streamlining fisheries trade issues

December 25, 2012

HAVING failed to persuade the European Union to open seafood exports to their region, the various fishery departments are at loggerheads for unfair intrusion into the affairs of each other oblivious of the fact that the fisheries sector has already greatly suffered at the hands of their disharmony and lack of coordination and conviction. The fact is that the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS) is a cooperative for the welfare of fishermen and their ancillaries such as fishing boat owners, mole holders, boat builders, ice and ration suppliers, fuellers, fish processors and others, whereas the Federal Marine Fisheries Department (MDF) and the Karachi Fish Harbour Authority (KFHA) are independent and autonomous departments assigned with the administrative and advisory responsibilities concerning fisheries.

As such, these departments find no role in the FCS except to carry out their ordained duties more efficiently and operate in coordination with the FPC or other fishery departments. It is the failure of these departments which is making them to save themselves from the ignominy of inaction by vying to seek undignified entry into an independent institution like the FCS, which has different functions to carry out according to its mandate.

Needless to say, the FCS has also failed to perform as it should and also needs major reforms to get rid of its old, salutary and inefficacious role as a cooperative for fishermen.

To make the Society really beneficial for the fishermen or the fishery, it should take immediate measures to stop bungling of a big chunk of commission it charges and earns through the sale of all fish landed and auctioned at the Karachi Fish Harbour and see to it that not a single fish gets sold out without paying prescribed commission to it.

Illegal auction of fish also ought to be taken strict notice of and steps taken to improve the condition of the fishermen as well as of the Karachi Fish Harbour to bring it in line with international standards so as to resume fish trade with the EU again.