Needs Of Improving Hygienic Controls In Fishing Value Chain

Most valuable products for direct human consumption are fresh goods, which account for 53% of global output, followed by frozen fish (26%), canned fish (11%), and cured fish (10%).

Needs Of Improving Hygienic Controls In Fishing Value Chain

An expert advised Pakistan to strengthen hygienic controls throughout the fishing value chain to boost export value. Even though fishing in Pakistan only accounts for 0.4% of the country’s GDP, it still has a significant impact on economic growth because it offers numerous people employment opportunities.

As the industry directly employs 390,000 people, the total number of jobs increases to between 900,000 and 1,800,000 when processing, transporting, and retailing are taken into account. It is a lucrative career and a promising way to help the nation bring in valuable foreign currency. Pakistan’s exports of fish and seafood currently fall far short of their true potential.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported that from July through January 2022–23, Pakistan exported seafood worth about $261.645 million. However, with the right deep-sea fishing policy, the industry could boost GDP by up to $2–2.5 billion.

Aimen Zulfiqar, an associate research fellow at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), claims that overfishing, pollution, and environmental dangers are harming Pakistan’s fishery industry. According to her, Pakistan’s fishing value chain needs to be rebuilt and modernised. She claimed that Pakistan’s fish processing industry is out-of-date and underfunded, which lowers the sector’s overall value addition.

Fish frequently requires quick processing because it is a very perishable commodity. The most valuable products for direct human consumption are fresh goods, which account for 53% of global output, followed by frozen fish (26%), canned fish (11%), and cured fish (10%).

Different value multipliers are produced by processing at various intensities, which has a significant impact on the potential growth of fishing exports. She explained that fish are delicate protein foods and putrefy very quickly if not immediately iced or frozen.

Aimen claimed that despite an increase in the volume of seafood exports, a number of problems, including inadequate processing facilities and lax quality controls, prevent us from developing to our full potential. Around 90% of the fish eaten in Pakistan, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), has decomposed and is unsafe for human consumption.

To prevent rotting, fish should be stored between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius.About 10% of Pakistan’s fish production is exported, and the remaining 90% is degraded because few boats have deep freezers or other means of storing the fish. According to Aimen, fish exported from Pakistan typically costs $2.3/kg on the market abroad.

“In the region, the average cost is about $7/kg compared to our neighbouring nations. By teaching fishermen about modern technologies, the fishing industry can be improved “She was emphatic.

According to the researcher, the Karachi Fish Harbour Authority (KFHA) and Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS) have launched a plan to maintain hygienic conditions for seafood on boats and in fish processing facilities.

At Karachi Fish Harbour, it has been put in place, and maintenance is performed three times per day (at its markets, jetties, and export zone area). But in order to increase exports, Pakistan’s fishing industry still needs modern methods and advancement.

Aimen said improvements to biosecurity and food safety systems could help Pakistan gain access to international markets and reduce risks. However, large-scale overfishing threatens the major commercial fish stocks, and stocks and harvests will continue to decrease if fishing intensity is not lowered.

Pakistan’s marine fisheries are largely open access at present, with few effective mechanisms to limit fishing effort. The government must introduce policies to fully exploit the export potential of this crucial sector.