31 July 2009
One hundred thousand fish seed released in Keenjhar Lake
The government is committed to improve the socio economic conditions of fishermen. This was stated by the Minister Fisheries Zahid Ali Bhurgri at fish seed release ceremony organized by Keenjhar Fishermen Welfare Society in collaboration with Partnership Fund of Indus for All Programme WWF. The Minister said that contract and license system has been abolished to ensure the local fishermen gets fishing rights who were previously deprived of this basic right. He said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto card has been given to fishermen as authority for fishing in 1209 water bodies located in various parts of Sindh province. He added that three hundred houses along with two hundred boats have been given to fishermen of Manchar Lake and similarly one hundred houses would be given to fishermen of Keenjhar Lake free of cost. The Minister said that fisheries pen and cage culture would be introduced at the lake in collaboration with Taiwan government. He urged on the fishermen that illegal nets should not be used. He lauded efforts of WWF for promotion of sustainable fisheries and said that department would implement such schemes in joint venture with WWF. The Programme Coordinator Indus for All Programme Nasir Ali Panhwar said that natural resources are depleting at fast pace which has affected the livelihood of communities negatively. He said that Keenjar Lake one of the sites under the Indus for All Programme where 39 villages are being covered through nine community based organizations. He said that efforts are being made to reduce the pressure on natural resource by providing alternate livelihood resources to the community. He informed that international expert has been engaged for fish stock assessment in freshwater bodies. He said that WWF has supported the project titled rehabilitation of Keenjhar fishermen communities through participatory approach being implemented by Keenjhar Fishermen Welfare Society. The project aimed to improve the livelihood resources of fishing communities by releasing two hundred thousand over sized fish seed in the Lake and to bring awareness among the fishermen for the sustainable fishing practices.
The site manager Keenjhar Lake, Zahid Jalbani said that under Partnership Fund component of Indus for All Programme has initially granted five projects in district Thatta including two at Keenjhar Lake focusing on livelihood development of fishing communities and provision of alternate energy. Moreover now in second phase two more
projects have also been supported in the area. All initiatives under Indus for All Programme have been taken with active community participation. Adam Gandhro said that the seed would bring improvement in livelihood of fishermen as the fish catch is reducing alarmingly. He said that this initiative would strengthen the efforts of Fisheries Department. On this occasion the Minister released one hundred thousand seed in the Lake.
The ceremony was attended by the large number of fishermen and representatives of community based organization and civil society and officials of fisheries department.
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