SEAFOOD EXPORT WITNESSES 31.53 % INCREASE in JULY-AUG

KANWAL SALEEM
Oct 20 - 26, 2008

The Seafood export in July and August, 2008-09 witnessed an increase of 31.53 percent as compared to the corresponding period of the last financial year 2007-08.

Pakistan exported 13,359 metric tons of seafood costing US $ 21,203,000 during the period under review as against 8,169 metric tons costing US$16,120,000 exported during the corresponding period of last financial year, official sources told PAGE.

During the month of August, Pakistan seafood export was recorded at 5,831 metric tons costing $9,261,000 against 7,528 metric tons worth $11,942,000 during the month of July, showing decrease of 22.45 percent. As against the same month of last financial year, the seafood export witnessed increase of 4.2 percent. The seafood export during August 2007-08 was recorded at 4,069 metric tons.

It may be mentioned that the European Union in early 2007 banned the export of seafood from Pakistan leading the previous government to ask Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) to intervene, which prepared "Roadmap" as part of the continuing process of restructuring and upgrading the KFH. A master plan of the harbor, including a roadmap for the modernization of existing auction halls and construction of new ones is almost complete.

It includes the provision of a shrimp peeling unit and other plans based on the need for potential to generate revenue besides outsourcing the entry gates to the Karachi Harbor. The spillway operation has been leased out and has brought about a reduction in congestion. Boat modification work momentum has improved and there is a marked improvement in the coordination between the Harbor Authority and Marines Fisheries Department.

A one window operation has been established with the efforts of the Ministry of Fisheries for fishing with the Karachi Port Trust, Karachi Fish Harbor Authority, the Maritime Security Agency, Customs and the Coast Guard also housed in one place. Pakistan marine fisheries produce more than 400,000 tons of fish, and more than 20,000 tons of shrimp. This fish loses value from capture to delivery to the processors all along the cold chain, due to poor handling and inadequate use of ice.