ISLAMABAD, May 6 (APP):Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi Monday said capacity building of fishermen was imperative with a special focus on sustainable fishery in the Arabian Sea for uplifting of Fisheries sector in Pakistan.

This initiative would not only raise the living standard of coastal inhabitants but would also contribute a huge amount to the national exchequer, he said in a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs, chaired by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq was attended by Senators’ Muhammd Akram and Shammim Afridi.

Fishery which considered a source of livelihood for coastal areas locals was suffering due to lack of coordination between provincial and federal authorities, Zaidi added.

He asked the senators to float some recommendations in this regard which would be beneficial for achieving the objectives.

On matter of non-payment to the Dockworker at Port Qasim Authority (PQA) raised by Senator Usman Khan Kakar, the committee was informed that the workers employed by the respective Cargo Handling Companies CHCs have never been registered by PQA.

The dispute of salary/compensation is purely between the Chinese Company and the employees at the requisite Marginal wharf 3 &4 at Port Qasim Authority, he said.

It is to be noted that the matter was also subjudice in the Labor Court Karachi filed by the Labor Union against its employers. The court has granted stay to the Labor Union.

Regarding the steps taken by the Maritime Ministry to improve the performance of Fisheries sector, Fisheries Development Commissioner Asad Rafi Chandna said Deep Sea Fishing Licensing Policy, 2018 was approved by the Cabinet.

Three development projects of Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) had been established in the regional offices at Gwadar and Peshawar.
Chandna said the department was in process of dialogue with Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Bank, Indian Pole and Line Foundation and WWF Pakistan for the development and Uplifting of Fisheries sector in Pakistan.

FAO has agreed to provide financial and technical assistance in the field of capacity building and awareness for conservation of fish stocks, he maintained.

First time Tuna Catch data submitted to Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) as per their standards in 2016-18 with collaboration of World Wildlife Fund, Pakistan, he informed.

Chairman Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) Naseer Khan Kashani informed the Senate body that a Master Plan for Gwadar City has been got prepared by Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) adding that the issue of extension of Free Zone to entire Gwadar may be taken up with the provincial government of Baluchistan for ascertaining that GDA’s Master Plan extends the Free Zone to entire Gwadar.

The issue concerning the underpass of Eastbay Express way after examined had sent for the approval from Ministry of planning Development and Reforms, he added.

He expressed the hope that the master plan would be unveiled next month if everything moves accordingly.

The Chairman said that Gwadar port, built on world class standard operating procedures, would have to pass through phases and processes which are globally carried out in the development of any port in the world.

Recently, he said, two big events including the ground-breaking for the new International Gwadar Airport and the Gwadar Expo 2019 took place in a peaceful manner.

“GPA is taking all necessary steps to promote tourist activities in the city. However, everything is demand-driven and tourism has its own special dynamics. Unless every basic requirement is fulfilled, the tourism industry will take time to leap forward,” he added.