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Fishing industry.

Pakistan has a coastline of 527 nautical miles and has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending offshore to 200 nautical miles. There are two main fishing areas Karachi Sindh extending south east from Karachi to the Indian border (about 180 miles) and the Makran coast west of Karachi and along the coast of Balochistan to the Iranian border (about 350 miles).

The Sindh Coast with Karachi harbour as its main base, is characterised by broad continental shelf (extending about 6 nautical miles out from the coast to a dept of 200 meters) and marked by innumerable small creeks and Delta Indus river, and by a muddy, easily trawlable bottom.

The Mekran Coast line is sparsely populated, formed by large bays and has narrow (25 to 35 miles wide) abruptly descending shelf, (1500 to 3000m) and many widely dispersed landing places. The bottom is mostly rocky and fishing is only possible within the narrow pl the shelf.

The total fish production of Pakistan is in the order of 500,000 metric tons of which about 80% is marine fish. Shrimp constitute about 10% of the marine catch. Most of the shrimp catch is frozen and exported to Japan, USA, UK, Singapore, Begliu, France etc. The demand for shrimps is increasing in the world market whereas, its production from natural sources in Pakistan is in stage of decline.

The export of shrimp in various forms is worth over 1661 million rupees. Shrimps are a source of high quality protein which is about 18-20% of fresh shrimp. In Pakistan shrimp production appears to have stabilised at around 20-30thousand metric tons annually and the catch per unit effort has dropped with the increase in the number of trawlers (Year book of statistics 1992). This evidence suggests that production level has reached to a maximum sustainable yield which can not be further exploited by increasing the number of fishing boats.

In the past decade aquaculture (mariculture) technology for marine shrimp farming has transferred to fastest from growing industries in South East Asia. India and Latin America.

Fish Production

Pakistan fish production has registered a steady increase as shown in the following table.
 (000 Percentage
 metric Increase
Year tons)

1988 445.4 +4.1
1989 446.2 -
1990 482.9 +8.2
1991 518.7 +6.0
1992 553.1 +6.0

Total catch in 1992 was estimated at 541,600 metric tonnes as compared to 279,000 metric tonnes. 1980 The annual growth rate worked out to about 5.68 per cent. With a 550 mile long coastine, Pakistan's fish production could be much greater. At present fishing is done mostly within a 12 mile belt because the fishing vessels are small and not fit to stay out for sufficiently long periods. Since the fishermen lack training and the boats are also not equipped with refrigeration facilities, a substantial quantity of fish and shrimp are caught and then destroyed even before they mature. it is estimated 25 per cent of the catch becomes stale because of the lack of cold storage facilities before it reaches the retail market. This waste be avoided by increasing the capacity which meets only five per cent of the requirements at present. Other f actors which are mainly responsible for the low quantity as well as quantity of fish catch in Pakistan are:-

a) Fish catching is continued even in breeding season which spoils the prospects for better catch. b) Fishing is done in a narrow area in the sea and a large number of trawlers compete among themselves in a limited area. c) The trawlers used for fishing are of small size and, therefore, are less efficient for commercial catch.

According to fishing experts, our Coastal water sare very rich in several varieties of shrimp and fish and over 3,000 big and small fishing vessels in operation catch only about 10 per cent of the fish available every year. Experts say that by proper planning and by using suitable vessels and fishing rear, the annual fish catch from our coastal waters, can be increased by 700 to 800 per cent.

Federal and Provincial government should allow joint ventures in deep sea fishing as well as coastal fishing. The bona fide local fishermen should also as such be allowed to bring upto 150 to 250 G.T. trawlers under joint ventures so that the local industry is also modernised and local fishermen are also benefited by the fruits of progress in this field.

The following table gives per capita. consumption of fish in Pakistan.
Year Kg.

1986-87 2.47
1987-88 2.62
1988-89 2.53
1989-90 2.72
1991-92 3.09

Fish Consumption in Pakistan is the lowest at 3.09 kg. There is hardly any improvementinthepercapitaconsumption of fish. In European countries per capita consumption of fish is 20 kgs. and in Japan it is 78 kgs. The per capita of other countries is UK 17 kgs. and Bangladesh 11 kgs.

In the developed countries average daily consumption of fish is estimated to about 40 kgs. per capita per year. On an average the annual protein intake per person is put around 16.6 kg. in Pakistan compared to 40 to 100 kg. in its neighbouring countries. Out of 16.6 kg. sea food makes up only 3.0 kg. and the remainder is obtained from animal meat and poultry.

Fish have a high demand. Consumption increases when income a d urbanisation rise. World consumption rose rapidly during the 1970s and 1980s and is projected to continue to grow progressively through the 1990s. Increased income generated by fish production and marketing contribute, in turn to the improvement of nutrition.

Fortunately fish production by capture and culture have no negative effects on the environment. instead it has a positive one, by eliminating mosquito larvae and pupae which can cause malaria. High inputs of chemicals, fertilisers and intensive feeding could aggravate the threat to the environment and human health. Although input intensive practices have increased fish production, they have also contributed significantly to environmental pollution. Better fish culture practices can reduce lower chemical use.

Because of the high value of fish and their culture systems, manuring and recycling of plant nutrients can be promoted. Multi-species fish farming is dominant feature in South-East Asian countries and an substitute for the ecologically efficient culture system.

Fish grown in integrated farming systems, emphasis efficient use of resources and recycling approaches. This can minimise degradation of the fish farm and permit sustainable and profitable production. In addition the use of resistant varieties and the widespread adoption of biological control methods can obviate the need for pesticides, and paracides.

The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has declared fish processing as an industry for the purpose of open bond manufacturing scheme. According to a CBR notification dated March 24, 1991 the fishing vessels have also been exempted from payment of import and lqra surcharges. Fishing vessels were already exempted from payment of customs duty and sales tax. Moreover, the facility of exemption of customs duty and sales tax on import of plant, machinery and spares under the open bond manufacturing scheme has now been extended to balancing modernisation and replacement purposes also.
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Title Annotation:Pakistan
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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