Pakistan needs to fine-tune fishery policies: experts – Newspaper

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ISLAMABAD: The existing fisheries legislation in Pakistan needs to conform to the international standards for sustainable management and utilisation of fisheries resources as there is a need to establish an enabling environment and right policy and legal framework for investors, United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative in Pakistan Mina Dowlatchahi said.

Emphasising the need for policy formulation at a stakeholder consultation webinar in Islamabad, the FAO representative said increased investment in the sector can contribute significantly to create income-generating opportunities in fisheries and aquaculture. This will contribute to improving food security, nutrition, and poverty reduction in the country, she said.

The FAO in collaboration with the Fisheries Development Board (FDB) of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research organised a stakeholders’ consultation webinar for developing a ‘National Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Policy and Plan of Action for 2020-30’.

The proposed policy aims for sustainable management and utilisation of fisheries and aquaculture resources through creation of a conducive and enabling environment for equitable, economic and social development in the country.

The fisheries and aquaculture policy will help achieve sustainable development goals. There is a dire need to conduct a holistic sectoral analysis of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Pakistan to identify the investment gaps and constraints hindering development opportunities in the sector, the meeting noted.

“To critically assess the needs of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, this would be the first ever policy formulation in line to the government policy of economic growth,” FDB Chief Executive Officer Dr Anser Mehmood Chatta said during the webinar.

The government had requested FAO for technical support for the development of the fisheries policy. Fisheries and aquaculture sector provides employment to 1.8 million households in the country. The current government has approved three mega projects to promote the sector. “We need feedback and consensus by the stakeholders on the policy formulation so that the policy is finalised and presented to the government,” Chatta said.

FAO technical experts gave detailed presentations on the outline draft policy for fisheries and aquaculture. The final policy will be presented to the government after a second consultation with the fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2020

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