Pakistan is among those developing nations where fisheries sector is not well-developed and trade-oriented. Its domestic consumption is about 1.5 kg per head per year which is very ow as compared with 16 kg of world average. During 2008-09, a total of 1,34,000 metric tons of fish and the fisheries products were exported earning 236 million US dollars. There is a great scope of the development of the fisheries sector in Pakistan because it has a coastline of 1120 km. Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extends up to 200 nautical miles from the coast. In July-March 2009-10 total fish production was estimated at 9,52,735 metric tons out of which 6,67,762 tons is marine production and the rest from lakes, rivers, canals and ponds etc.
Presently, there are about 36 processing units of fish in Pakistan which have storage capacity of ten thousand tons. According to a survey, about 17,000 fishing boats are operating in the coastal areas. Pakistan’s main harbours include the following:
- Karachi Fish Harbor
- Korangi Fish Harbour
- Pasni Fish Harbour
- Gwadar Fish Harbour
The fishing zone of Pakistan extends up to 200 nautical miles into the Arabian Sea. This distance has been divided into two categories viz. Coastal water fishing and Deep sea fishing. Out of these, the coastal waterfishing extends up to 12 miles. Further on, the division is named as given below:
- Zone I= 12-35 nautical miles
- Zone II= 35-200 nautical miles
There is a lot of room for development of Pakistan’s fisheries sector. It needs to be streamlined on modern lines by introducing modern techniques of fishing processing and storage. Main type of fish fond in the coastal areas of Pakistan include hilsa, sardine, shark, sole, mecherel, tuna, pomfret, eel, shark and cat-fish.