JAMSHORO: The Department of Fresh Water Biology & Fisheries of the University of Sindh Jamshoro observed the World Fisheries Day with several programmes, including a colourful rally and public conference on the Allama I.I Kazi Campus here on Friday.
The rally was flagged off by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Imdad Ali Ismaili and chairman of fisheries department Prof. Dr. Naeem Tariq Narejo in which teachers, students, fishery scientists, officials and social workers participated. The slogans of the rally were “conservation of fishery resource for the protection of human kind”, “stop over fishing” and “save the water from pollution for the safety of fisheries”.
The day was observed with the theme to create awareness about fish importance, consumption, sustainable management and protection of our natural fisheries resources from the hazardous effects of environmental pollutants.
Artistic talents of the students highlighting the significance of the day were also displayed in the rally. The public conference was followed by the awareness rally which began from department of fisheries and after a long round reached back and converted into conference.
Addressing on the occasion the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Imdad Ali Ismaili said that the protection of the fisheries was the need of hour but it could be ensured through the awareness among the people.
He said that mere slogans were not sufficient to save the national assets but they could only be protected through education and research adding that the problems could be resolved in all the fields only through the knowledge and wisdom.
He said this awareness rally taken out by the students of department of fresh water biology and fisheries would prove beneficial and it would leave the deep impacts among the masses.
He stressed the need for initiating “blue revolution” (fish revolution) emulating the models of green and white revolutions. “Breeding technology and advanced fish farming techniques should be introduced instead of concentrating only on capture fisheries.
Dr. Ismaili said that indigenous fish species were facing severe threats leading to extinction.
“I think our concerned students can take up a study in this regard and find solutions to the problems. In addition to developing fishery science, the fisheries department should also strive for the uplift and socio-economic progress of the fishermen,” he said.
He said he with the help of department students and teachers would take steps to bring the fisher folk into the mainstream of society.
Dr. Naeem Tariq Narejo said that the production of native fish species had dropped drastically in Pakistan because of proliferation of exotic species in major lakes and water bodies.
“Alien species that in some cases were officially introduced in local waters have devastated the natural ecosystem and there is a dire need to initiate programmes to control exotic species in order to restore the ecosystem,” he said.
Dr. Narejo quoted a proverb as saying that the four-leg animals are more dangerous, 2-leg dangerous while the legless animals are peaceful so the fisheries are legless and we can benefit from it to a great extent.
According to him, natural fisheries resources are also threatened by overfishing. Habitat degradation, pollution and introduction of exotic fish species have seriously affected the productivity of natural freshwater bodies.
“We intend to work with fishermen at different water bodies including Keenjhar, Manchhar and Chotiari lakes to enhance productivity of the water bodies as well as create livelihood for fishermen communities,” he said.
He urged the government authorities to take measures to reduce overfishing, particularly that of shrimps. “Pressure on shrimp grounds has increased colossally. The issue can be addressed by placing trawler excluding device that will help us create a zone where shrimp can survive. The device is basically obstruction placed in waters serving as shrimp breeding grounds,” Dr. Narejo said.
Dr. Wazir Ali Baloch on the occasion said that the over-fishing must be brought to an end for nurturing of fisheries in the country and ensuring alternate livelihood for the people.
He added that over-fishing by foreign and local trawlers had ruined coastal economy, bringing untold sufferings particularly to small fishermen.
He emphasized that time had come that the government act promptly in the interest of the fisheries and to save them from further ruination and at the same time he also urged the local fishermen to desist from using harmful nets for fishing.