Regulatory Framework in Pakistan for Fisheries

The Fishing Industry in Pakistan
Pakistan has a fish and seafood industry worth US$1.2 billion. Exports alone are worth nearly US$200 million. More than 800,000 people rely directly or indirectly on the industry for their livelihoods or family income.

The major issue for Pakistan is over fishing, a result of a failure to manage the fisheries correctly. Management failures in fisheries are not peculiar to Pakistan by any means. The most significant feature of marine fisheries in Pakistan, is that it is an “open entry system”. According to classical resource economics, since the point of un-profitability lies beyond the point where the fishery is at it Maximum Biological Sustainable Yield, there will be over fishing in a common property resource with open entry. This is exactly what has happened in Pakistan, the catch is declining and incomes are reducing.

The Regulatory Framework in Pakistan for Fisheries
The current legislative framework dealing with fisheries in the country is the Exclusive Fishing Zone (Regulation of Fishing) Act, 1975 as amended in 1993. This extends to the whole Pakistan and to waters within the exclusive fishery zone of Pakistan beyond the territorial waters. It regulates the management of fishing in exclusive economic zone of the country. The provisions of the law cover:
• Licensing and management of fishing operation
• Fishing craft subject to navigational regulation
• Prohibiting illegal, dynamite and poisoning fishing
• Closed season and prohibited area
• Penalties in contravention of any provisions such as seizure and disposal of fishing craft, fishing gear and fish catch.

The Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) of the federal government performs the functions of conservation of fisheries resources, management and development of resources along scientific lines, training of fisheries and fish farmers and in-service training, extension services of the private sector, revenue earning through auctioning/licensing of water resources and supplies of quality fish-seed to private fish farmers on subsidized rates.

Currently the only local legislation directly related to fish quality is the Pakistan Fish Inspection and Quality Control Act of 1998, which was adopted in response to WTO regulations. This legislation gives the ministry wide ranging powers and lays down rules for the handling of fish, on-board, in landing areas and auction halls and in processing units. The Agriculture Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act, 1937 also provides authority and control for the grading and marketing of the agricultural produce including dry fish, shellfish, and fishmeal.

Pakistan is also bound by the Precautionary Approach to Sustainable Fisheries, part of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, as part of the Rome Convention of 1999. The Code in itself is not binding, but is enshrined in other treaties to which Pakistan is a signatory. The Code provides principles and standards applicable to the conservation, management and development of all fisheries. It also covers the capture, processing and trade of fish and fishery products, fishing operations, aquaculture, fisheries research and the integration of fisheries into coastal area management. The code contains many clauses detailing responsible ways to manage fish stocks including:-

“States should prevent over fishing and excess fishing capacity and should implement management measures to ensure that fishing effort is commensurate with the productive capacity of the fishery resources and their sustainable utilization.”

Overview of the Global Fishing Industry
The fishing industry (or fishing sector) is extraordinarily diverse. At one extreme are large, multinational joint ventures, utilizing large factory trawlers and numerous other vessels, employing thousands of workers on several oceans. At the other are small, wooden canoes and other boats used by individual fishermen to catch sufficient food for their families and perhaps more to sell in their local communities. The technology used can be simple and traditional, or it may be highly sophisticated, incorporating the most advanced electronic and other equipment. Some parts of the fishing industry are under social and economic pressures resulting from declines or sudden disappearances in certain stocks of fish (and other living marine resources) due to over fishing and other reasons and to loss of access to fishing grounds.

The Global Fishing Regulations
The world’s fisheries have come under increasing control. International Conventions, Agreements, Codes and activities have had, and are having, a major impact on where and how fishing takes place.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea gives coastal States the authority to manage fisheries within their jurisdiction.

The EU Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products has been developed by the EU Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products and gives general advice on the production, storage and handling of fishery products on board fishing vessels and on shore. It also deals with the distribution and retail display of fish and fishery products. It is incorporated as a fundamental operating procedure.

In USA, the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA) of 1996 provides the legislative framework for the fishing industry determining the allowable catch limits and habitat-protection rules and so forth.

There are no binding harvesting standards in the fishing industry. However, various organizations have attempted to introduce voluntary harvesting standards that promote sustainable fisheries. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), based in the UK, is one such organization.

The Future of Fisheries
Enforcement of regulations is an often-neglected aspect of fisheries management. Setting catch regulations is of little use if they are not enforced and similarly the quality of fish will not be consistent without adequate enforcement of the laws.


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    Introduction ::Pakistan

    The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars – in 1947-48 and 1965 – over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 – in which India capitalized on Islamabad’s marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics – resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002. Mounting public dissatisfaction with President MUSHARRAF, coupled with the assassination of the prominent and popular political leader, Benazir BHUTTO, in late 2007, and MUSHARRAF’s resignation in August 2008, led to the September presidential election of Asif ZARDARI, BHUTTO’s widower. Pakistani government and military leaders are struggling to control Islamist militants, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. The November 2008 Mumbai attacks again inflamed Indo-Pakistan relations. The Pakistani Government is also faced with a deteriorating economy as foreign exchange reserves decline, the currency depreciates, and the current account deficit widens.

    Geography ::Pakistan

    Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north

    Geographic coordinates:
    30 00 N, 70 00 E

    Map references:

    total: 796,095 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 43 land: 770,875 sq kmwater: 25,220 sq km

    Area – comparative:
    slightly less than twice the size of California

    Land boundaries:
    total: 6,774 kmborder countries: Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 km

    1,046 km

    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nmcontiguous zone: 24 nmexclusive economic zone: 200 nmcontinental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

    mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north

    flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 mhighest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

    Natural resources:
    land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone

    Land use:
    arable land: 24.44%permanent crops: 0.84%other: 74.72% (2005)

    Irrigated land:
    182,300 sq km (2003)

    Total renewable water resources:
    233.8 cu km (2003)

    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
    total: 169.39 cu km/yr (2%/2%/96%)per capita: 1,072 cu m/yr (2000)

    Natural hazards:
    frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)

    Environment – current issues:
    water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification

    Environment – international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlandssigned, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

    Geography – note:
    controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent

    People ::Pakistan

    176,242,949 (July 2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 37.2% (male 33,739,547/female 31,868,065)
    15-64 years: 58.6% (male 52,849,607/female 50,378,198)
    65 years and over: 4.2% (male 3,475,927/female 3,931,605) (2009 est.)

    Median age:
    total: 20.8 years
    male: 20.6 years
    female: 21 years (2009 est.)

    Population growth rate:
    1.947% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63

    Birth rate:
    27.62 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57

    Death rate:
    7.68 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119

    Net migration rate:
    -0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111

    urban population: 36% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: 3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 65.14 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 32
    male: 65.24 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 65.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 64.49 years
    country comparison to the world: 167
    male: 63.4 years
    female: 65.64 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate:
    3.6 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55

    HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
    0.1% (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128

    HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
    96,000 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47

    HIV/AIDS – deaths:
    5,100 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43

    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
    animal contact disease: rabies
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

    noun: Pakistani(s)
    adjective: Pakistani

    Ethnic groups:
    Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhagirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%

    Muslim 95% (Sunni 75%, Shia 20%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 5%

    Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%

    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 49.9%
    male: 63%
    female: 36% (2005 est.)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 7 years
    male: 7 years
    female: 6 years (2006)

    Education expenditures:
    2.6% of GDP (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 155


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