Fisheries exports contribute US $ 276.269 mln to national kitty

1623

ISLAMABAD, July 30 (APP): Pakistan has exported around 103,277
tons of fish and fish preparations during first three quarters of
last fiscal year which contributed US $ 276.269 million precious
foreign exchange to national exchequer.
The export of fish and fish preparations during same period of
2015-16 was 92,046 tons, amounting to US $ 240.038 million.
A data issued by Commerce Division on Sunday revealed that
exports of fish and fish preparations have witnessed an increase by
12.2 per cent in quantity and 15.09 per cent in value during last
year.
The major buyers are China, Thailand, Malaysia, Middle East,
Sri Lanka, Japan etc.
The sources said fishery plays an important role in Pakistan’s
economy and is considered to be a source of livelihood for coastal
inhabitants. Apart from marine fisheries, inland fisheries (based
in rivers, lakes, ponds, dams etc.) is also very important activity
throughout the country.
Fisheries’ share in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 0.41 per
cent but has a value addition in export earnings.
During 2016-17 (July-March), total marine and inland fish
production was estimated at 520,000 tons out of which 375,000
tons was marine production and remaining catch came from inland
waters.
Whereas the production for period 2015-16 (July-March), was
estimated to be 501,000 tons in which 368,000 tons was marine and
remaining was produced by inland fishery sector.
The sources said to improve fisheries sector a number of
initiative were being taken by federal and provincial fisheries
departments which included inter alia strengthening of extension
services, introduction of new fishing methodologies, development of
value added products, enhancement of per capita consumption of fish,
and up-gradation of socio-economic conditions of the fishermen’s
community.
The government also arranged training of around 2,455
fishermen and fisheries related personnel on different aspects to
bring high quality products which fetch higher price in market.
These trainings were also aimed at reducing post-harvest
losses on board fishing vessels and were imparted on hygiene,
deckhand, navigational electronic equipment, HACCP, modern fishing
techniques etc.
Moreover, the sources said to enhance export of seafood
products a model shrimp farm in District Thatta, Sindh has been
established by Fisheries Development Board with funding from Export
Development Fund (EDF) to enhance supply of raw material for
seafood industry in Pakistan.
They said in order to enhance seafood exports and curb
smuggling of seafood to Afghanistan and other countries from
Peshawar, four new development projects are being implemented.
These included establishment of Regional Office & Testing
Laboratory of Marine Fisheries Department at Peshawar, establishment
of Regional Office & Testing laboratories of Marine Fisheries
Department at Gwadar, upgradation and Accreditation of Quality
Control Laboratories for Environmental Contamination and
reactivation of Hatchery Complex for Production of Fish and
Shrimp Seeds.
The sources said under Strategic Trade Policy Framework
(STPF) 2015-18, matching grant of upto a maximum of Rs. 5 million
for specified plant and machinery or specified items is provided to
improve product design and encourage innovation in Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) and export sectors of leather, pharmaceutical and
fisheries.
The EDF Board also approved Rs. 96 million for establishment
of Pen Feh farm of sea bass and groupers along coastal belt of
Sindh.
The sources said after a period of about six years, the
European Union (EU) allowed resumption of export of Fish & Fishery
products from Pakistan to EU countries.
It may be recalled that the fish processing plants were de-
listed by EU. Two fish processing plants have been enlisted by
EU and case of enlistment of five more processing plants is in
process with EU.
They said to meet requirement of EU and other importing
countries, two laboratories (i.e. Microbiology & Chemical) have been
accredited from Pakistan National Accreditation Council.
Moreover, the sources said to meet the requirement of EU
and other importing countries, 2,000 fishing boats have been
modified which is a success story for Pakistan.
The other initiative was that pursuant to requirement of EU
and other importing countries, on Hazard Analysis & Critical Control
Points (HACCP), guidelines have been prepared and distributed to 137
fish exporters/processors to ensure quality of seafood.