Pakistan leading the global fisheries forum INFOFISH
Mr. Rizwan Ahmed, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Maritime Affairs addressed the 33rd Virtual meeting of the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) of INFOFISH on 21-07-2020. Pakistan has been given the Chairmanship of INFOFISH for the year 2020 and Mr. Rizwan Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Maritime Affairs is nominated by Pakistan in this lieu.
Speaking at the event, Rizwan Ahmed said that nature has blessed humanity with abundant resource of fish, however, nearly 90 percent of global fish stocks have either already been fully fished or overfished, as per the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
As the human population continues to grow exponentially, finding means to feed more mouths is one of the most important challenges faced around the globe.
The role of aquaculture in ensuring a consistent supply of aquatic species for human consumption cannot be understated. Technical advances have generally led to more efficient and economical fishing operations, reduction of the physical labor required per unit of output and improved access to resources. This signifies the need to develop more effective fisheries management frameworks, together with safer and more environment-friendly methods of production, for example, in developing selective fishing gear, development of value chain, reduction of pre and post-harvest facilities globally, development of value addition technology and in designing aquaculture systems that reduce their impact on external environments, he continued.
Lauding the success of INFOFISH he remarked that as an Intergovernmental Organization, INFOFISH has successfully completed 33 years of service to the fishery industries in Asia-Pacific and beyond. INFOFISH which started as an FAO regional project in 1981has now become an Organization that has expanded its activities over the years covering fishing technology, handling and processing, aquaculture, environmental studies and a wide range of projects and consultancies.
By taking the opportunity, he requested INFOFISH to start its projects in Pakistan specially in the development and improvement of product value chain, development of shrimp aquaculture, skills and strategy to reduce post and pre harvesting losses, develop the value addition facility in Pakistan, development of channel/strong relationship with potential market of fish and fisheries products.
Concluding his address, secretary Maritime Affairs said that "I assure all the member countries that INFOFISH will continue to support the member countries in the development of the fisheries sector. I hope through this platform, the region will get maximum benefit, which will ultimately result in the development of the fisheries sector in the region".
Ten countries, including Pakistan, Srilanka, Thailand, Philippine, Bangladesh, Fiji, Malaysia, Maldives, Cambodia and Iran participated along with observers Worldfish Center, NACA etc attended the meeting.