September 24, 2020: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Fisheries Development Board, Ministry of National Food Security & Research held a stakeholder consultation webinar for developing a national fisheries and aquaculture development policy and plan of action for 2020-2030.
The webinar was attended by participants from Federal Ministries of National Food Security and Research, Maritime Affairs, fisheries departments of all provinces, technical experts from FAO, representatives of fisheries organization and experts from various NGOs and academia.
The “National Policy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Pakistan” aims for sustainable management and utilization of fisheries and aquaculture resources through creation of a conducive and enabling environment for equitable, economic and social development in the country. The policy will help to achieve the contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to achieve the sustainable development goals. There is a dire need to conduct a holistic sectoral analysis of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Pakistan to identify the investment gaps and constraints hindering development opportunities in the sector.
Emphasizing on the need of policy formulation, the Country Representative of FAO Pakistan, Ms. Mina Dowlatchahi in her remarks stated that “The existing fisheries legislations need to conform to the international standards for sustainable management and utilization of fisheries resources. Increased investment in the sector can contribute significantly to create income-generating opportunities in fisheries and aquaculture. We need to establish an enabling environment and right policy and legal framework for investors. This will contribute to improving food security, nutrition, and poverty reduction in the country,” she said.
CEO of Fisheries Development Board, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Dr. Anser Mehmood Chatta stated that “To critically assess the needs of the fisheries and aquaculture sector, this would be the first ever policy formulation in line to the government policy of economic growth. The Government of Pakistan requested FAO for technical support which was granted through a Technical Cooperation Program by FAO. Fisheries and aquaculture sector provide employment to 1.8 households in the country. The current government has approved three mega projects to promote the sector. We need feedback and consensus by the stakeholders on the policy formulation so that the policy is finalized and presented to the government,” he said.
Technical experts from FAO delivered detailed presentation on the outline draft of the national policy for fisheries and aquaculture. The final policy will be presented to the government after a second consultation with the fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders.