Published On: Wed, Sep 17th, 2014

Will pollution take marine life to a stake?

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Hamid ur Rehman

KARACHI: For Mohammad, a 75 year old fisherman, hopes comes to an end as the pollution destroys the marine life especially the fish, which always remained only source of livelihood for him and his family.

He thought that by this year’s fishing he will be able to earn the amount to do his daughter’s wedding but due to environmental pollution, over fishing and illegal hunting of fishes have made fishermen like Mohammad to get worried to meet up their needs.

He says that due to less fish’s quantity he suffered from financial loss. He gets to earn 200 rupees hardly which is not sufficient to make both ends meet. He says that he has 8 daughters. Now the question is whether he earns and spends on his living or gets his daughters married.

This story is not only of Mohammad but of every other person living in Ibrahim Haideree. Environmental pollution, over fishing and illegal hunting of fishes is on one hand ruining the marine life an on the other hand has brought the fishermen to crises.

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The sea life is at stake due to the pollution and dumping of waste in the sea. According to the fishermen the sea used to be so clean 30 years back that even if you throw a coin it would be clearly visible but now the condition is worst.

The pollution has destroyed over 20 species of fishes which includes Maingra, Snagray , Kair, etc. Fisher Folk Farm General Secretary, Talib Kache said that , ” When I was living near Manora at the age of 12, my friends and I used out mothers scarves to catch fishes and with no time we were able to catch as many fish as it is not possible with the help of net now.”

He further said at that time less people were associated with fish catching profession and there were rules which every one followed, fishermen never used to go for fishing at night, but now 24 hours many launches are fishing with the help of small holes nets, from which a match cannot pass through.

Fisherman Kamran landed at Ibrahim Haideree was inquired about the fishing compare to old times; he responded what no of fishes we could catch just within 2 days before 2 or 3 years now even unable to catch in 4 days. When he was asked about small holes net, he said we know that all small fish are stuck in it but it is not our decision to use this net, we are paid employees if we deny there are many fisherman ready to work. He told that normal fishes are used as food but these tiny fishes are happily bought by poultry feed makers.

Moazzam khan says that on one hand there is an increase in the quantity of ship and fishing rate has increased but on the other hand there is decrease in the production. Along with it export rate has also increased and it has been raised up by 16 percent as compared to previous.

Fishes are a source of income of fishermen and also a source for their food. Overfishing will affect fishermen negatively. As a result the export will be affected plus the country’s economy too because the fishes that are being exported are now not available and those which are being caught are not in bulk so as to be exported.

Sometime ago at Karachi’s shore one of the species of fish used to be exported in bulk quantity but now its export has been cancelled as we are unable to find the quantity of that fish in bulk so as to be exported. In the same way we have hunted shark so much that now we do not have shark as a result of which the fish that shark used to eat is found in a huge number which has affected the sea life.

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The waste and garbage from factories is thrown in the sea which pollutes the sea environment and has harmed the sea life effectively. If no steps would be taken against overfishing pollution and illegal hunting so a lot of species of fish would be extinct from Pakistan and like other industries the fish industry will also come to an end which in turn will affect the economy of Pakistan.

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