KARACHI: Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (R) Maqbool Baqar said on Tuesday that seafood products, ranging from fish and shrimp to crabs and squid, including frozen and fresh seafood, canned goods, and value-added items like breaded fish fillets, can find their way to international markets if the adherence to quality standards and the integration of technology is ensured.
Addressing a seminar arranged by the National Institute of Maritime Affairs to commemorate World Fisheries Day at Bahria University, the CM said that he was happy for the policymakers and professionals on this significant occasion of World Fisheries Day 2023, marked by the theme “Conservation through Collaboration: Developing Fishing Communities.”
He said that the fishermen’s communities were not merely guardians of the sea; they embody the essence of the cultural heritage, preserving traditions that have been cherished and passed down through generations.
He said that Pakistan was blessed with a coastline stretching over one thousand kilometers and an expansive Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covering 290,000 sq. km, including the extended continental shelf.
The CM said that our marine fishing activities were concentrated along the coasts of Sindh and Balochistan, constituting 30% and 70% of Pakistan’s total coastal area, respectively.
He said that for periods, fishing has been a vital source of sustenance for communities along the Indus River and the Arabian Sea. Pakistan’s waters harbor approximately seventy commercial fish species. The fisheries sector not only considerably contributes to our economy but also forms the backbone of livelihoods for our coastal communities.
Pakistan’s Seafood Key Destinations
Baqar said that Pakistan’s key export destinations include the US, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South Korea. Remarkably, Pakistan’s seafood export reached an all-time high, hitting 496 million dollars in 2022-23.