Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee has urged participants of a one-day international workshop on ‘Conservation and Management of Shark Fisheries in Pakistan’ to follow in the footsteps of the Maldives and ban shark fishing.
Shainee inaugurated the conference at the Marriot Hotel in Karachi on Monday (September 15), which was organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) in collaboration with the Marine Fisheries Department of Pakistan.
“Shark fishing is completely banned in the Maldives in order to recover the declining population of sharks due to uncontrolled fishing methods,” Shainee was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
Shainee reportedly advised formulation of a ‘National Plan of Action’ regarding conservation and management of sharks in Pakistan.
According to Muhammad Moazzam Khan – former director-general of Marine Fisheries Department and WWF-Pakistan technical advisor – export of shark fins and meat from Pakistan declined from 50,000 tonnes in 1980 to 5,000 tonnes at present due to the decrease in shark population.
“Khan said that there are 144 shark species in Pakistan, adding that a few of them are endemic but their status is unknown. He said that the biology of about 35 species is regularly studied and there is an immediate need to declare at least some of the area as a shark sanctuary along the coast,” the Tribune reported.
“Hussain Sinan, of the Maldives Fisheries and Agriculture Ministry, discussed the ban on shark fishing in the Maldives and its impact on tourism. He claimed that shark population is increasing due to the ban in his country, adding that the same needs to be done in Pakistan.”
In 2012, the Maldives government assisted in a programme designed to retrain former shark fishermen in marine farming and aquaculture.