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Monitoring system to prevent illegal trawling in Gwadar established

GWADAR: The fisheries director general said that the Balochistan government has established an effective monitoring system to curb illegal trawling in Gwadar. Under the monitoring system, gunship boats of the fisheries department and other agencies would patrol the sea round the clock.

Fisheries DG Mir Saifullah Khetran told media that with the implementation of the system, illegal trawling has been significantly reduced.

The DG said action had been underway for several months against illegal trawling. The local fishermen were being badly affected. The DG Fisheries further said that the trawlers allegedly come from Sindh and other areas.

The fisheries department patrolling team also confiscated a fishing vessel for illegal trawling near the coast of Jiwani. They arrested the crew members.

Despite years of legislation, public protests, and government promises, illegal fishing off Balochistan’s coast continues. This indicates the severity in combating the ‘trawler mafia.’

A visit to the area proves this is no exaggeration. Illegal trawling has indeed brought fish factories in the district to the verge of closure.

“Illegal fishing has a long history in this coastal belt. Over the years the issue has become more and more sensitive. We are not sure who owns the trawlers that come from Sindh and sometimes internationally. But one thing we know is that they are a very powerful mafia with complete political support.

A local fisherman from Pishukan, a fishing village in the west of Gwadar said, “They have left nothing in the ocean for us. And yet, we see them every other night. Almost all the fishermen in Gwadar and the fishing villages nearby, Pishukan, Jiwani, Pasni, Ormara and in Lasbela distric, have a similar story.

To address the problem, several countries, including Pakistan, have established laws and signed international treaties. Interpol ranked llegal fishing as the world’s fourth illicit activity after drug trafficking, counterfeiting, and human trafficking.

“Sometimes these large vessels deliberately get so close to our small fishing boats that we fear they would harm us.”

Zahra Sikandar
Written By

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