KARACHI: The fishermen of Gizri are angry with the administration for not lifting the ban on fishing that has been in place for the past three weeks.
They had gathered at Sea View on Sunday to demand the administration take back the 'additional' ban, which was placed after the drowning of more than 35 visitors during Eid. Over 100 fishermen from Gizri regularly visit Sea View and Clifton for fishing for the last 40 years.
"We don't use boats for fishing," informed a fisherman, Usman Durrai. "The administration doesn't allow us anymore after the tragedy during Eid," he added.
Durrai said that the local fishermen were not being allowed even before the tragedy. "The administration stopped use from fishing nearly three weeks ago," he claimed, adding that the fishermen of this particular area are completely dependent on fishing on these points.
The Gizri fishermen warned that they protest again on Monday (today) at Sea View and demand the administration lift the ban. "We'll come along with our women and children," he said. "We won't let the administration torture us."
Even the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) chairperson Mohammad Ali Shah felt the ban is unfair. "The ban is on visitors, not on fishermen, and the locals should not be treated in this way," he said. "It is their right [to fish] and the government should not snatch the fishermen's rights." He also vowed to protest against this attitude.
Shah informed The Express Tribune that the fishermen in other areas are not being stopped. "The sea isn't rough only in this particular area," he said. "If they stop the fishermen due to high tides, then they should impose a ban across the coastal belt."
According to the PFF office bearers, they have contacted the city administration, including the commissioner and the livestock and fisheries minister Jam Khan Shoro, and complained about the attitude of the administration.
"The PFF is with the Gizri fishermen and will launch a protest against this illegal ban on fishing in this particular area," claimed PFF office bearer Kamal Shah. He added that these fishermen also work as rescue workers whenever any visitors drown in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th,2014.