Seafood exports linked to saving turtles


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KARACHI: A one-day training workshop focused on the use of Turtle Exclusion Device (TED) was organised by the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society at the Fish Harbour conference hall on Sunday.

Representatives from the Sindh Fisheries Department, Karachi Fish Harbour Authority, and the Sindh Marine Fisheries Department were present at the workshop attended by substantial number of fishermen.

During the workshop, Administrator Zahid Ibrahim Bhatti of the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society addressed the participants, emphasising the crucial role of TED in preventing turtles from becoming entangled in fishing nets. Bhatti underscored the collective responsibility to protect marine life and the need for its preservation.

Administrator Bhatti also highlighted the economic implications of turtle conservation. He noted that Europe and America had imposed a ban on the export of fish and shrimp from Pakistan.

To reach these markets, the products must transit through multiple countries, resulting in limited benefits for Pakistan and its local fishermen, who do not receive competitive prices for their catch.

The USA has made the lifting of the export ban conditional on the use of TED. Bhatti explained that the removal of the ban by the USA would allow Pakistani fishermen to secure better prices for their fish, potentially bringing in millions of dollars in foreign exchange, which could significantly boost the country’s economy.

He praised the genuine efforts of local fishermen in their previous contributions to lifting the ban and stressed that they would continue to play a pivotal role in this endeavor by adopting the use of TED.

Bhatti commended the conscientiousness of Pakistani fishermen, who are well aware of the importance of protecting sea turtles. When a turtle is inadvertently caught in their nets, they make efforts to safely release it back into the sea. During the workshop, Deputy Director of Livestock Fisheries in Sindh, Sara Javed, provided a comprehensive explanation of the significance of TED and addressed the questions raised by the attending fishermen.

The event also featured the presence of several distinguished individuals, including Sindh Fisheries Director Dr Asim Karim, Assistant Director of TDAP Bakhtawar, Deputy Director of Karachi Fish Harbor Mansoor Ahmed, Harbor Master of KFHA Saif Soomro, Deputy Director of Fishing Technology Haseebur Rahman, UC Chairman Salman Bhatti, Vice Chairman Muhammad Hussain, Ayaz Bhatti, Ahmed Yusuf, and various others.

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