ISLAMABAD: The fish population in domestic waters is declining due to climate change impacts, extensive use of netting, and other bad practices, while the jellyfish population is rising.
These views were expressed by Ministry of Science and Technology Director General (DG) Dr Asif Inam while discussing recent surveys of marine life in Pakistan. “These crosscutting issues related to marine life in Pakistan need specials attention,” Dr Inam said while suggesting decreasing fishing fleets and increasing aquaculture at local levels. He called on participants at the meeting to move effective federal-level legislation to curb illegal fishing.
Climate Change Minister Zahid Hamid had convened the meeting to consult all relevant departments before participating in the Our Ocean conference in the US next month.
Inam also noted the impact of climate change on oceans and cyclones patterns while suggesting that constructions at vulnerable places be avoided.
He said the Churna Island corals were in healthy condition. “This shows that biological conditions at this island are good and to maintain these healthy conditions, it should be included in Marine Protected Areas,” Dr Inam suggested.
The minister was also informed about the Marine Pollution Board, which was notified in 2007 but is inoperative.
The Wednesday meeting was a follow up to one which took place on August 18.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.