By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) and UN-Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pakistan jointly organized a webinar to mark International Day of Illegal Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing.
The webinar was attended by Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, experts from FAO Headquarter, Italy and officials from MOMA, here on Sunday.
Total 106 participants had shown their interest in the Webinar and registered from different countries (16) i.e. Australia, Japan, South Africa, France, United Kingdom, Kenya, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Bangladesh, Sweden, Somalia, Pakistan and different international fisheries related organizations i.e. INFOFISH, IOTC, FAO and WWF, Pakistan.
Representatives from local fisheries organizations including the Provincial Fisheries Department, NGOs, Universities, Research Organizations and Fishermen Societies had also participated. The Webinar was based on regional perspective on IUU fishing and was intended to provide the basis to curb and combat with IUU fishing.
Syed Ali Haider Zaidi said the Ministry of Maritime Affairs was committed to uplifting the fisheries sector with better cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders in the country and providing a platform for guidance to provincial governments to meet international standards of the fisheries sector.
He said the government was very well aware with all the mandatory requirements to deal with IUU fishing while a National Plan of Action for Marine Capture Fisheries was also being prepared. This program would address all the issues related to the compliance of IOTC obligations, e.g Data Collection (both on port and on board), installation of VMS on board, logbooks on-board, and implementation of all the conservation management measures.
He hoped that in the coming years Pakistan would reach to the maximum level of compliance. The ministry was working effectively to achieve the target of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG) to get the sustainable fisheries in the country. In this regard, the minister thanked the FAO who has provided the opportunity to transform Pakistanâ€™s fishing gears from gill netters to long liners.
The minister thanked the FAO and FDC and mentioned that the discussion during this webinar from the FAO Experts had enlisted the areas which need to be improved and to be incorporated in the coming National Plan of Action for Marine Capture Fisheries and whatever discussion which had been done would not only be left just for completing formalities but utilized for benefit of this sector. He said there was no dearth of experts and hard workers in our countries and by taking guidance from this meeting we could achieve a lot.