Govt empowers fishermen to police illegal fishing

(Staff Report):-

In order to protect the future of fishermen, the provincial government of Balochistan has introduced “fishermen community policing” in the territorial waters of the province.

According to an official statement, under the scheme, the fishermen shall be provided basic IT equipment to “perform watch and ward functions” in the seawaters. As per the statement, the Fisheries Department’s conceptual idea has been approved by Chief Minister Balochistan.

The motto of the scheme is “Fishermen; the protectors of oceans” and it shall be enforced throughout the 12nm (nautical mile) of provincial waters. The initiative has been taken to “protect the future of fishermen,” as per the official statement.

Fisherfolks in Balochistan are voicing their concerns against poaching in provincial waters and resenting illegal fishing. However, the Fisheries Department has limited resources to effectively police its coastline and territorial sea. Nevertheless, the fishermen’s community policing can protect the waters of Balochistan from illegal fishing and trawling.

The Balochistan Government is making all efforts to improve the living standards of the fishermen of the province. Earlier in January, the government declared the fishing worker/labour as an “employee” to ensure the social security of the fishermen.  Under social security, the fishermen are entitled to get a letter of appointment, card, and annual leaves and to get minimum wages fixed by the government.

There are 89,886 fishermen registered with the Department of Fisheries and Coastal Development (DFCD), Balochistan.