Fisheries management in Pakistan needs significant renovation and support. Essential is up-to-date knowledge of the fishery sector, the state of the stocks at sea (from the coastal area to offshore deep waters), and the fisheries’ social and economic dynamics. To address the information gaps, the Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) with funding from the Government of Pakistan is conducting a major project entitled “Stock Assessment Survey Programme in EEZ of Pakistan through Chartering of Fisheries Research Vessel and Capacity Building of Marine Fisheries Department”. Two other projects are integral to this, namely “Assistance in Planning and Implementing a Marine Fisheries Resources Survey” funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) being implemented by the Institute of Marine Research, Bergen Norway and the FAO UTF project entitled “Support to the Fishery Resources Appraisal in Pakistan” which is funded from the MFD project.
All the activities of these projects are closely linked and interdependent and resource surveys are central to all three project components to provide the information needed for stock assessment and advice to managers, including management recommendations for the priority fisheries and the resources supporting them.¨
The FAO UTF project, with additional financial support from the Norwegian Embassy in Pakistan, has obtained the services of the R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen to conduct a programme of demersal, pelagic and deep-sea fisheries resource surveys from 12th of October to 21st of November.
Inauguration ceremony in Karachi 11 October 2010Photo: Lise Albrechtsen
The survey programme will cover the Pakistan EEZ from 20m depth contour out to the 200 mile limit using combined acoustic and trawl methods for pelagic, demersal and deep-sea species. It will also include oceanographic observations such as CTD, O2 and nutrient measurements. The main objectives of the survey are:
- Obtain acoustic biomass estimates for the major small pelagic and mesopelagic fisheries resource species
- Obtain swept-area biomass estimates for continental shelf demersal fisheries resource species
- Obtain oceanographic observations of the marine environment as related to the fisheries resources
- Obtain exploratory fishing information on the demersal fisheries resources in deep sea areas such as the Murray Ridge and deep continental slope
- Train scientific personnel from Pakistan