Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA), Government of Pakistan and UN-Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pakistan jointly organized a webinar to mark International Day of Illegal Unregulated & Unreported (IUU) fishing on 5th June, 2020. The Webinar was attended by experts from FAO Headquarter, Italy, officials from MOMA and Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi.
Total 106 participants had shown their interest in the Webinar and registered from different countries (16) i.e. Australia, Japan, South Africa, France, United Kingdom, Kenya, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Bangladesh, Sweden, Somalia, Pakistan and different international fisheries related organizations i.e. INFOFISH, IOTC, FAO and WWF, Pakistan.
Representatives from local fisheries organizations, including the Provincial Fisheries Department, NGOs, Universities, Research Organizations and Fishermen Societies were also participating. The Webinar was based on regional perspective on IUU fishing and was intended to provide the basis to curb and combat with IUU fishing. Ministry of Maritime Affairs is committed to uplifting the fisheries sector with better cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders in the country and providing a platform for guidance to provincial governments to meet international standards of the fisheries sector.
Federal Minister for Ministry of Maritime Affairs addressed the webinar and said the Government is very well aware with all the mandatory requirements to deal with IUU fishing and we are in a process of preparing A National Plan of Action for Marine Capture Fisheries. This program will address all the issues related to the compliance of IOTC obligations, e.g Data Collection (both on port and on board), installation of VMS on board, logbooks on-board, and implementation of all the conservation management measures. Hopefully, in the coming years Pakistan will reach to the maximum level of compliances.
Ministry of Maritime Affairs is working effectively to achieve the target of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG) to get the sustainable fisheries in the country. In this regard, the Minister thanked the FAO who has provided the opportunity to transform Pakistan's fishing gears from gill netters to long liners.
The Minister thanked the FAO and FDC and mentioned that the discussion during this webinar from the FAO Experts had enlisted the areas which need to be improved and to be incorporated in the coming National Plan of Action for Marine Capture Fisheries and whatever discussion which had been done will not only be left just for completing formalities but utilized for benefit of this sector. I am sure that there is no dearth of experts and hard workers in our countries and by taking guidance from this meeting we could achieve a lot.