Fisheries Development Board (FDB) on Monday organized a two-day workshop on “Draft national residue control plan and national strategy for aquatic animal health” at a local hotel to discuss issues related to fish production, regulatory and institutional mechanism and list of recommendations.

Need Stressed To Boost Pakistan’s Fish Export

During the workshop, various departments shared ongoing development activities and plans for the promotion of shrimp farming for export development. Addressing the session, Shrimp Project Manager Maratab Ali Awan discussed the possibility to enhance Pakistan’s fish export, especially from freshwater aquaculture. He said that the outcome of workshop would show pathways to enhance fish export and develop a comprehensive national residue control plan for the promotion fisheries and aquaculture sector on a sustainable basis. He said: “We understand that fisheries sector is crucial for food security, nutritional requirements and livelihoods of many people in Pakistan especially of those living along the coast of Pakistan”.

FDB Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Junaid Wattoo explained that Fisheries Development Board and Ministry of National Food Security and Research was implementing three mega projects of Rs14.9 billion under Prime Minister Agriculture Emergency Programme, adding that investment of Rs13.702 billion at one time was a largest investment made by previous government in the fisheries sector. He said that these projects were aimed at promoting aquaculture-based seafood production to ensure local supplies and surplus for export from Pakistan and to harness the untapped potential of fisheries natural resources to create livelihood opportunities and economic uplift of fish farming communities.

He said that the public and private sector was investing in shrimp value chain so by the year 2023, local shrimp feed and seed would be available and shrimp farming would be initiated on commercial scale, he added. European Union had offered best prices for farmed shrimp as compared to any other importing country, he maintained. He said that another issue which needed to be focused on timely manner was aquatic bio-security which could be broadly described as a strategic and integrated approach. He said that some of the major constraints for maintaining aquatic animal health and aquatic bio-security in Pakistan included lack of specific policy, dedicated infrastructure, capacity, legislation, enforcement, public awareness, and coordination between agencies.

Punjab Fisheries Director General Dr Sikander Hayyat said that in the era of globalization the importance of aquaculture had further increased as the blue economy was an emerging concept. He emphasized on the national residue control plan and appreciated the efforts of Fisheries Development Board. During the opening ceremony, Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries Punjab Additional Secretary Amna Munir said that shrimp and fish farming was a more sustainable use of natural water resources for economic growth, improving livelihood and creating job opportunities.

She said that shrimp farming was one of the most profitable businesses which needed attention for proper planning to boost up the fisheries based export. She also lauded the efforts of Fisheries Development Board, Ministry of National Food Security and Research for the establishment of National residue control plan. The workshop was attended by a large number of participants from various field of life including federal and provincial fisheries departments, university professors, students, EMC Pakistan PVT, fish farmers, and others.

Source: This news is originally published by nation

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