Fisheries Industry of Pakistan: Business Report

Pakistani Fisheries

                             Pakistani Fisheries


Report Business Report is based Analysis of Punjab Government and all figures are quoted by Government. 


Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Terms………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

Seafood: Products and relative Value Addition…………………………………………………………… 7

World Seafood Trade : Trends (Exerts from FAO report 1997)………………………………….. 7

Production and state of fisheries resources………………………………………………………………… 7

Fish utilization………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

Recent Trends In International Fish Trade………………………………………………………………. 11

Pakistan’s Share in International Market…………………………………………………………………. 13

Composition of Pakistan’s Exports…………………………………………………………………………… 14

Source ITC Data 1997………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

Pakistan’s Fish Export as % of Total Export……………………………………………………………. 14

Fish Quantity Export as % of Total Catch, Total Marine Catch and Total Edible Catch 15

It is alarming to note that export volumes are decreasing as percent of marine and marine edible catch. The situation mainly reflects deterioration in quality due to obsolete storage and handling conditions.………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 15

State of Pakistan’s Marine Fisheries Sector…………………………………………………………….. 15

Fishing Settlements/Grounds…………………………………………………………………………………… 15

Fish Landing Points/Harbors……………………………………………………………………………………. 16

Karachi Fish Harbour……………………………………………………………………………………………… 17

Korangi Fish Harbor……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 18

SINDH…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 20

BALOCHISTAN…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21

Source: FAO reports 1997 Data…………………………………………………………………………………. 24

AQUACULTURE…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26

SHRIMP CULTURE………………………………………………………………………………………………. 26


Existing Fisheries Resources and Incremental Potential……………………………………………. 28

Channels of Distribution for Fish and Fish Products………………………………………………….. 31

Structural Problems of Marketing……………………………………………………………………………. 32

Channels of Disposition of the Catch……………………………………………………………………….. 33

Channels of Disposition of Fish (Marine & Inland)                            (in tonnes)………….. 33

Production of Marine Edible/Inedible Fish………………………………………………………………… 34

Total Production of Edible Marine and Inland Fish Available…………………………………….. 34

Harvesting……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36

Voyage Time:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 36

Average Voyage time……………………………………………………………………………………………… 37

Post Harvesting……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 37

Landing (at harbor)………………………………………………………………………………………………… 37

Auctioning……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38

Transportation……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38

Processing……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38

Processing Capacities……………………………………………………………………………………………… 40

Fisheries Related Rules And Acts……………………………………………………………………………. 41

Legislation of the Country………………………………………………………………………………………. 41

Annexes…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51

Fax:  51 – 9221246………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51

Government of Pakistan…………………………………………………………………………………………. 51

Mr. Moazzam Khan………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51

List of fishery Related Industry and Associations……………………………………………………… 53

Fishery Related Research & Educational Institutes………………………………………………….. 53



Pakistan has a total coastline of 1,050 km and a total fishing area of approximately 300,270 sq. kms. Pakistan’s fishing grounds are termed as highly rich in marine life with a vast variety of species having commercial value. However, this potential is not reflected in the export earning from fisheries sector, which has remained stagnant around 150 million US$, during last decade. This situation is mainly attributed to highly unorganized nature of private sector, lack of focus in Government policies and little institutional investment (in public and private sector projects) in this sector.


Pakistan’s export stood at 171 million US$ in 1997-98. Whereas, a rough estimate based on maximum sustainable yield figures, existing value addition, and foreign benchmarks (Indian, Bangladesh and Malaysia benchmarks for %age of landed catch exported) puts our total export potential from this sector to around 1.0 billion US $ from existing natural resources. Including a high potential area, i.e., aquaculture, in our fisheries sector, can yield even higher export earnings from fisheries sector in Pakistan.


Pakistan’s domestic consumption of fish is termed as one of the lowest in the world at 1.6 KG per person/Year. This consumption pattern coupled with increased inland fish production (91,631 tons in 19987 to 167,530 tons in 1997) leaves little room for domestic marketing of marine fish. Therefor, the focus remains to be foreign markets mainly Europe, US, Japan and Middle Eastern countries. A brief analysis of Pakistan’s export products in fisheries sectors reveals over dependence on few species with little value addition. In particular, over exploitation of shrimp species, reflected by over 66% share in export by value, poses a very strong threat to the industry as shrimp landing figures are declining and there are no signs of shrimp aquaculture development in the country. The dependence on a limited number of species causes an imbalance resulting in over exploitation of few and under-exploitation of other species. This imbalance is also reflected in fishing grounds with over 99% of landed catch being generated from continental shelf (0-35 NM) while EEZ (35-200NM) contributing less than 1%. Also our decreasing average unit prices (2.85 US$/kg in 19987-88 to 2.22 US$/kg in 1997-98) puts extra pressures on the industry for increased volumes. All of the above situation results in a fishing industry where we are catching more and more of limited number of species in already overexploited fishing grounds and selling these at low prices to our foreign buyers. Marine resources mismanagement is also aided by an obsolete fishing fleet and fishing methods, use of banned nets, fishing in prohibited breeding areas, poor landing conditions, highly unskilled fishermen and non-existent of value added processing industry.


The negligence in exploiting marine fisheries resources is highly regrettable given the state of world markets. The world market stood at 52 billion US$ in 1997 with Pakistan’s share as less than 0.33%. Given the changing eating habits and depleting natural resources, world seafood market is termed as mainly “sellers market”. The focus in fishing is shifting from already exploited regions to under-exploited areas because of conservation and environment pressures. However, despite such favorable circumstances, Pakistan’s seafood exports have decreased during recent past with 1992 showing highest figures, i.e., 181 million US$.


The fisheries sector in Pakistan offers direct employment to over one million people, most of which work as fishermen. There are a large number of fishermen’s villages all along Pakistan’s coast line where fishing is primary source of earnings for centuries. The stagnant fisheries sector directly effect standard of living of this community. In addition, these large socioeconomic groups face economic survival problems due to marine resource mismanagement, decreased landing figures and problems faced by seafood processors (who buy their produce) in export marketing because of poor quality product.


Based on the export potential, current and potential employment opportunities and threats to survival of seafood industry in Pakistan, SMEDA decided to review the industrial value chain from harvesting to processing, with the objective to develop a strategy for optimal utilization of our marine resources. The Fisheries Development Strategy incorporates public and private sector interventions in all effecting areas, i.e., regulation, technology, management, marketing and human resources with a view to increase export earnings, create and sustain employment and bring about qualitative change in lives of millions of people involved in this trade.





The process of strategy development for fisheries sector was based on data collection from all available resources. In addition to other information, following sources were reviewed for strategy development purposes:


  • International Trade Commission data for fisheries trade
  • FAO data and reports on fisheries sector
  • Marine Fisheries Development (MFD) reports
  • Export Promotion Bureau data on fisheries sector
  • Karachi Fisheries Harbor Authority (KFHA) reports
  • Fishermen’s Cooperative Society landing and auction/commission data
  • Infofish reports on Fishery sector profiles of different countries
  • Relevant federal and provincial regulations for fisheries sector in Pakistan
  • Relevant national and international regulations on seafood quality control
  • Stock survey reports


Another important element of SMEDA’s methodology was close liaison with stakeholders, i.e., fishermen, boat owners, middlemen, seafood processors and relevant government agencies. This ensured that the strategy is based on existing ground realities and that the stakeholder’s point of view is incorporated for future development. In this context various office bearers were consulted from following organizations:


  • Marine Fisheries Department (MFD), Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL), Government of Pakistan (GOP)
  • Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Ministry of Commerce, GOP
  • Korangi Fish harbor Authority (KoFHA), MINFAL, GOP
  • Fisheries Department, Government of Sindh (GOS)
  • Karachi Fisheries Harbor Authority (KFHA), GOS
  • National Institute of Oceanography (NOI)
  • Center of Excellence in Marine Biology, Karachi University
  • Fishermen’s Cooperative Society (FCS)
  • Pakistan Seafood and Industries Association (PSIA) – both factions
  • Sindh Trawler Owners and Fishermen Association (STOFA)
  • Karachi Trawler and Boat Owners Group


Numerous meetings were held with personnel representing above organizations. In particular, the private industry was consulted at every step of the strategy development process. In addition, primary research was also conducted to develop value chain of fishing sector. SMEDA interviewed a sample of people and closely observed the following areas to develop an understanding of the existing processes and facilities:


  • Fishing boats
  • Unloading areas and the processes at Karachi Fish harbor (KFH)
  • Auction halls and the process at KFH
  • Chiller Rooms at KFH
  • Processing plants
  • Shrimp Peeling Sheds


Number of meetings were held with representatives on NCB’s for discussing financing arrangements for funding public and private sector initiatives in fisheries sector.


A reference list of reports consulted and contacts for relevant agencies are attached as annexes for future reference.






Mainly three groups of Molluscs characterized by internal skeleton, tentacles surrounding mouth and quick movement by means of water, jet propulsion, namely cuttlefish, squid, and octopus.



The group of species Abalones, winkles, conchs, Oysters, Scallops, Pectens and fresh water molluscs.


Jaira Shrimp:

Local name for the group consisting of Penaeus merguiensis; the three most valuable species of shrimp. It is also called white shrimp.


Kalri Shrimp:

Local name for the group of nine species of shrimp commercially next in importance to Jaira shrimp. It is also called brown shrimp.



Kiddi Shrimp:

Local name for the group of three least valuable shrimp species.


Penaeid and non penaeid shrimp:

The commercially importance marine shrimp species that fall under the biological family called Penaeidae are referred to as a penaeid shrimp while the rest including small acetes shrimp as well as fresh water prawn.


Shrimp & Prawn:

The marine water shrimp species are generically referred to as either shrimp or prawn while fresh water shrimp species as prawn.


Tuna & Tuna like Species:

Five major tuna species – Skipjack, Yellowfin, Albacore, Bigeye and Bluefin are treated as tuna while the others like kawakawa, longtail tuna, marlins, bonitos, seerfish, and so on of scombridae family are treated as tuna-like species or small tunas.



Cracker often containing minced fish and a common snack in Southeast Asia.


Block Frozen:

Frozen in blocks of 4 lb/1.8 kg or 2 kg or more for further processing.


Frozen Fish:

The frozen shrimp or fish at the temperature of around minus 40 degree Celsius.


Fresh Fish:

The fresh shrimp or fish chilled at around 0 degree Celsius



Individual quick freezing a technique for sea food processing, in which food is freeze with in 3-5 minutes.



Maximum sustainable yield, optimal catch quantity, catching below this limit is termed as underexploitation and above this limit catching is termed as over exploitation


Capture Fishery:

The catch of fish through the natural resources like Seas, Rivers, etc.



The production of fish by culturing it, like culture of shrimp farms, fish farms, ponds , both marine and fresh water.



Seafood: Products and relative Value Addition


The table below is an estimate of relative commercial importance of major categories of seafood. The table only accounts for commercial categories regardless of individual specie prices. The categories are ranked on a 10 (highest) to 1 (lowest) scale according to their value addition.



Seafood Product Category                                 Relative Value Addition

Live / Assorted Ready to Eat                             10

Fresh                                                                   8

Processed (Simple Ready to Eat)                       8

Processed (Ready to Cook)                                7

Frozen (IQF)                                                       5

Frozen (Blast)                                                     4

Dried / Salted                                                      3

Fish Meal                                                            1



World Seafood Trade : Trends (Exerts from FAO report 1997)


In 1995 and 1996 total world fish production expanded rapidly, reaching 121 million tones in the second year. Aquaculture output grew dramatically during the biennium while capture fisheries production registered a slight increase. Supplies for human consumption increased considerably, rising from 14.3 kg per caput (live weight equivalent) in 1994 to 15.7 kg in 1997.

Trade increased during the 1996-1997 biennium, although at a slower pace than in the previous two years, and the value of world exports of fish and fishery products reached US$52.5 billion in 1996, with developing countries achieving a net trade surplus of US$16.6 billion.


Production and state of fisheries resources

Capture fisheries

Total capture fisheries production in 1996 amounted to 94.6 million tones. China, Peru, Chile, Japan, the United States, the Russian Federation and Indonesia (in that order) were the top producer countries in 1996, together accounting for more than half of world capture fisheries production in terms of tonnage. Marine capture fisheries continued to account for more than 90 percent of world capture fisheries production, with the remainder coming from inland waters.


World marine capture fisheries production reached a new record of 87.1 million tones in 1996. However, as in previous years, the rate of increase continued to slow during the biennium. In the 1950s and 1960s, total world marine fisheries production increased on average by as much as 6 percent per year, doubling from 17 million tones in 1950 to 34.9 million tones in 1961, and doubling again in the following two decades to reach 68.3 million tones by 1983. In the following decade, the average annual rate of increase dropped to 1.5 percent and to a mere 0.6 percent during the 1995/96 biennium. The Northwest Pacific remains by far the most important fishing area in terms of both volume and value of landings

World fisheries production and utilization

1990       1992       1994       1995       1996                                                19971

(million tones)



Aquaculture                             8.17        9.39        12.11      13.86      15.61                                                17.13

Capture                                    6.59        6.25        6.91        7.38        7.55                                                7.70

Total inland                            14.76      15.64      19.02      21.24      23.16                                                24.83



Aquaculture                             4.96        6.13        8.67        10.42      10.78                                                11.14

Capture                                    79.29      79.95      85.77      85.62      87.07                                                86.03

Total marine                          84.25      86.08      94.44      96.04      97.85                                                97.17


Total aquaculture                    13.13      15.52      20.77      24.28      26.38                                                28.27

Total capture                           85.88      86.21      92.68      93.00      94.63                                                93.73

Total world fisheries             99.01      101.73    113.46    117.28    121.01                                                122.00



Human consumption               70.82      72.43      79.99      86.49      90.62                                                92.50

Reduction                                28.19      29.29      33.47      30.78      30.39                                                29.50



State of marine fish resources. Overall, the state of exploitation of the main fish stocks (in fisheries for which assessment information is available) has remained more or less unchanged since the early 1990s. Recent reviews tend to confirm that, among the major fish stocks for which information is available, an estimated 44 percent are fully exploited and are therefore producing catches that have reached or are very close to their maximum limit, with no room expected for further expansion. About 16 percent are overexploited and likewise leave no room for expansion; moreover, there is an increasing likelihood that catches might decrease if remedial action is not undertaken to reduce or suppress overexploited. Another 6 percent appear to be depleted, with a resulting loss in total production, not to mention the social and economic losses derived from the uncontrolled and excessive fishing pressure and 3 percent seem to be recovering slowly.


Inland capture fisheries production. Nominally, exploitation of inland fisheries resources amounts to 7.6 million tones, equal to 8 percent of total capture in 1996. Exploitation is mainly of finfish, although molluscs (7 percent) and crustaceans (6 percent) may be locally important. Six of the ten top producers for inland capture fisheries are in Asia: China, with a production of nearly 1.8 million tones, produces 23 percent of the world total and nearly three times as much as the second largest producer, India. Altogether, the top ten producer countries account for about 62 percent of world landings from inland capture fisheries.



Aquaculture provided 20 percent of global fisheries production (and 29 percent of food fish) in 1996. Most aquaculture production (15.1 million tones) originated in freshwater. Of the remainder, 9.7 million tones were produced in marine environments and about 1.6 million tones in brackish water environments. These figures are excluding the production of aquatic plants, which amounted to 7.7 million tones in 1996.


Fish utilization

Fish for food

In recent years, the volume of fishery products marketed in their fresh state has increased not only in absolute terms but also as a percentage of all uses of fish. In 1996, about 33 percent of all fish was marketed fresh compared with 20 percent in 1986.


The supply of frozen fish is growing in both developed and developing countries. The production of frozen fish fillets, shrimps and prawns has increased in volume, as has the supply of fish in the form of ready-to-eat meals and other convenience food products.


Fish for feed

After 1994, when nearly 32 million tones of fish (representing nearly 30 percent of the total world fisheries production) were used for feed, there was a decrease in this usage in 1995. As a consequence of the El Niño phenomenon, the stocks of small pelagics in the Eastern Pacific are expected to shrink and the volumes landed in the course of 1998 may consequently be several million tones below those recorded in 1996.


Trade in fish and fisheries product

Fish, shellfish and fishery products are widely traded, with no less than 195 countries having exported part of their production and some 180 countries having reported fishery imports of varying amounts in 1996. In parallel with the increase in production, international trade has continued to grow, and at an accelerating rate in recent years. The largest part of this growth is real in that it is linked to the expansion of the world’s economies and also reflects the increased availability – owing mainly to aquaculture production – of species in high demand as well as the sustained demand for fishmeal.


Export volumes reached 22 million tones in 1996, which is nearly three times the volume traded in 1976 and, when reconverted into the estimated live weight equivalent, represents 40 percent of overall fisheries production. This level has been reached after a period of relative stability, with foreign trade accounting for around 30 percent of production.


In 1996, the export sector earned US$52.5 billion, representing 11 percent of the value of agricultural exports and about 1 percent of total merchandise trade. The share of trade in fish and fishery products in all agricultural trade has increased somewhat over the last decade.


Although fishery trade is not prominent at the global level, in some countries its contribution to foreign currency earnings is vital to the national economy; for example, fish and fishery products represent more than 75 percent of total merchandise exports for Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Maldives and Seychelles. In a further 20 countries, including Chile, Ecuador, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru and Senegal, fisheries exports account for between 75 and 10 percent of total merchandise exports.


In terms of value, fishery exports are almost entirely (95 percent) composed of food products, although, in terms of volume, fishmeal and fish oil account for a much greater share. In value terms, more than half of the fishery export trade originates in developing economies and consists largely of imports into developed economies. While Thailand was the leading world exporter of fish products between 1993 and 1996, at a value of US$3.4 billion, Norway’s fishery exports were the highest in 1997. Japan, with US$15.5 billion worth of imports in 1997, is the leading importer while the United States absorbs about 10 percent of world fish imports. These two countries and the European Community (including the value of the intra-EC trade) import 75 percent (in value terms) of internationally traded fishery products.

Recent Trends In International Fish Trade

  1. World fish production expanded substantially from 117 million t in 1995 to 121 million tons in 1996. Estimates for 1997 indicate a lower level, due to lower pelagic catch as in South America. China is now the top producer with some 32 million tons in 1996. Peru was the second major fishing nation with catches exceeding 9 million tons. TABLE -3                                                                                TABLE 1 – World Fish Production and Trade                                                                                                                                Unit                                                                 1991      1992      1993       1994         1995      1996World fish production Growth over previous year                                                                         million tons  %                        98.9                 101.7 +2.9                              105.2 +3.4                  113.5 +7.8                                          117.3 +3.4                  121.0 +3.2                                          Exports of fishery products Growth over previous year                                                               ‘000 million US$ %                 38.9                 40.2 +3.3                                 41.4 +3.0                    47.6 +15.0                                          52.4 +10.0                  53.1 +1.3                                            Developed countries Growth over previous year                                                               ‘000 million US$ %                 21.2                 21.7 +2.2                                    21.2 -2.2                      23.6 +11.3                                          25.4 +7.9                    26.6 +4.7                                            Developing countries Growth over previous year                                                             ‘000 million US$ %                 17.7                 18.6 +4.7                                    20.2 +9.0                    24.1 +19.0                                          26.9 +12.0                  26.4 -1.9                                              Imports of fishery products Growth over previous year                                                                    ‘000 million US$ %                 43.5                 45.3 +4.0                                44.6 -1.5                      51.1 +14.6                                          56.1 +9.8                    56.9 +1.4                                            Developed countries Growth over previous year                                                               ‘000 million US$ %                 37.3                 38.9 +3.3                                    37.9 -1.7                      43.3 +14.2                                          47.4 +9.6                    47.6 +0.3                                            Developing countries Growth over previous year                                                             ‘000 million US$ %                 6.2                   6.7 +8.6                                    6.7 -0.2                        7.8 +16.8                                            8.7 +10.9                    9.3 +7.1                                              Developing countries’ surplus  Growth over previous year                                                                     ‘000 million US$ %                 11.6                 11.9 +2.5                                13.5 +14.1                  16.2 +20.0                                          18.3 +12.6                  17.2 -6.2                                              Developed countries’ net imports Growth over previous year                                                                 ‘000 million US$ %                 16.1                 16.9 +4.7                                16.7 -1.0                      19.7 +17.8                                          22.0 +11.7                  21.0 -4.8                                              Source: FAO Fisheries Department                                                                                                                                         2. The increased volume of international trade in fishery products in 1996 was associated with higher trade in low-value commodities such as fishmeal and oil. The result was that the value of exports increased less than their volume to US$ 53 100 million. First indications for 1997 show an increase in the value of fishery products traded, due to higher prices.


  1. Developed countries accounted for about 84% of total imports of fishery products in 1997 in value terms. Japan was again the biggest importer of fishery products, accounting for some 30% of the global total. This share has been stable over the years. The European Community (EC) further increased its dependency on imports for its fish supply. The United States, besides being the world’s third major exporting country, was the second biggest importer. In 1996, fishery imports into all three major market areas increased.


  1. The increase in net receipts of foreign exchange by developing countries – deducting their imports from the total value of their exports – is impressive, rising from US$ 5 200 million in 1985 to US$ 17 200 million in 1996. For many developing nations, fish trade represents a significant source of foreign currency earnings.


  1. Major issues of international trade of fishery products during the past two years were: the change in quality control measures in the main importing countries; the concern of the general public on overexploitation of the resource; environmental concerns with regard to aquaculture; the end of the tuna-dolphin issue; the trade discussion on turtle excluding devices and the creation of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), to mention just a few. Many exporting countries felt the change in quality control measure. In August 1997, the EC stopped imports of seafood from India, Bangladesh and Madagascar. In December 1997, there was a decision to prohibit the import of fresh seafood from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda. The impact of these measures was severe in the seafood industry of these exporting countries, creating loss of employment and foreign exchange earnings of several hundreds of million of US dollars.


Pakistan’s Share in International Market


The following table shows Pakistan’s share in international seafood markets for year 1997.



Category       World Mkt $                    Quantity in Tons             Pakistan Export           Quantity in Tons             % of world mkt in Value                       % of world in Quantity

Fresh Fish      6.11 Billion   1.5 Million    5 Million       3 thousand    0.008%                       0.06%

Frozen Fish    7.50 Billion   4.1 Million    32 Million     26 thousand  0.043%                       0.08%

Fish Fillets      6.50 Billion   2.1 Million    0                   0                   0                       0

Fish Dried/Salted                1.1 Billion    0.18 Million  13.5 Million  21 thousand        0.123%         11.67%

Fish Salted                                               0                   0                   NA                       NA

Fish Smoked  378 Million   50 thousand  NA                NA               NA                       NA

Fish Liver       310 Million   29 thousand  NA                NA               NA                       NA

Fish Meal       9 Million       4 thousand    NA                NA               NA                       NA

Shell Fish       11 Billion      1.3 Million    109 Million   21 thousand  0.173%                       1.62%

Invertebrates  4 Billion        1.1 Million    10.06 Million                     8 thousand                       0.025%         0.73%

Ready to Eat  6 Billion        1.6 Million    4.7 Million    229               0.078%                       0.01%

Total               52 Billion      12 Million     174.26 Million                   79226                       0.34%           0.66%

Source ITC Data 1997



Pakistan has exported 109 million worth of shellfish (shrimp species) and earned 32 million through export of frozen fish. Both these figures posses potential threat as shellfish landings are on decline and without any signs of shrimp aquaculture, Pakistan will face difficulty in maintaining export revenues earned from shellfish. Also frozen fish offers relatively low value addition. The 13.5 million earned from export of dried salted fish is also a negative sign as this product category is on the bottom end of value addition amongst seafood products.

Composition of Pakistan’s Exports


The table below shows distribution of Pakistan’s seafood export in different product categories.



Category                       Pakistan’s Export 1997                         Quantity in Tons                               % of total Value   % of total Quantity

Fresh Fish                      5 Million                 3 thousand                3%                                       4%

Frozen Fish                    32 Million               26 thousand              18%                                       33%

Fish Fillets                     0                             0

Fish Dried/Salted           13.5 Million            21 thousand              8%                                       27%

Fish Salted                     0                             0

Fish Smoked                  NA                         NA                           NA                                       NA

Fish Liver                      NA                         NA                           NA                                       NA

Fish Meal                       NA                         NA                           NA                                       NA

Shell Fish                       109 Million             21 thousand              NA                                       NA

Invertebrates                  10.06 Million          8 thousand                6%                                       10%

Ready to Eat                  4.7 Million              229                           3%                                       0%

Total                              174.26 Million        79226                       100%                                       100%

Source ITC Data 1997



Pakistan’s Fish Export as % of Total Export


The table below shows contribution of Pakistan’s seafood exports in total exports of Pakistan. As is evident, contribution by seafood sector is declining.



Year                               Pakistan’s Total Export (US$ million)                                       Pakistan’s Total  Fish Export (US$ million)      Fish Export as % of Total Export

1994-95                         8131                             154.3                            1.90%

1995-96                         8707                             140.7                            1.62%

1996-97                         8320                             149.1                            1.79%

1997-98                         8628                             171.5                            1.99%

1998-99                         7718                             120.1                            1.56%


Fish Quantity Export as % of Total Catch, Total Marine Catch and Total Edible Catch


The table below shows total catch exported as percentage of marine catch and marine edible catch. The table clearly shows a decline in %age export volumes from 1997 to 98. This is mainly because of deterioration in quality of seafood.



Year          Total Catch              Marine Catch             Edible Marine Catch                  Pakistan’s Exports    Export as % of T.catch               Export as % of M.catch Export as %f of Edible M.Catch

In 000 Tons              In 000 Tons                In 000 Tons              In 000 Tons   %             %             %

1994          558,099    418,574   230372    62,669        11.23%    14.97%                  27.20%

1995          541,917    405,492   220004    65,773        12.14%    16.22%                  29.90%

1996          555,489    395,397   206953    79,577        14.33%    20.13%                  38.45%

1997          589,731    422,201   211100    77,290        13.11%    18.31%                  36.61%

1998          596,980    433,456   243306    77,554        12.99%    17.89%                  31.88%


It is alarming to note that export volumes are decreasing as percent of marine and marine edible catch. The situation mainly reflects deterioration in quality due to obsolete storage and handling conditions.




State of Pakistan’s Marine Fisheries Sector


Fishing Settlements/Grounds


Major part of the fish catch in Pakistan is Marine, which forms 71 percent of the total catch. The Arabian Sea, which washes the coast of Sindh and Balochistan, has rich fish deposits of commercial significance in close proximity. Pakistan has a very long Range of coast-line with number of bays and broad continental shelf lying in front of Indus deltas and other natural factors which are ideal for growth of marine life in general and fisheries of commercial importance in particular.


The total seacoast of Pakistan is 682 miles, of which Balochistan and Sindh have 477 and 205 miles respectively. Of the Balochistan coastline Makran has 367 miles and Lasbella district of Kalat division 110 miles. Makran coast falls under Gawadar district, east of which is Lasbella district, to the west is Iran’s border, to the north is Turbat district and Arabian Sea is to the south.  Lasbella district has Karachi to east, Gawadar to the west, Khuzdar to north and Arabian sea is to the south. The Baluchistan coast runs east to the west while Sindh coast runs diagonally from north to south. The coastline of Karachi is more than 110 miles long. It extends from lailath on the east situated on the first channel of Korangi creek upto Beda situated on the north west of Karachi on Sonmiani Bay.


There are 30 fishing settlements out of which 19 fishing villages are of permanent nature. Temporary fishing centers are inhabited only during fishing season and abandoned later on.


There are on the seacoast of Pakistan more than 30 species of shrimp, 10 species of crab, 5 species of lobster and about 70 commercial species of fish including sardine, Hilsa, shark, Mackerel, Butterfish, Pomfret, Sole, Tuna, sea bream, Jew fish and Cat Fish, Shark, Eel and shrimp.


Marine fishing is undertaken from right beyond the seacoast to 200 n. miles in the sea. The distance has been divided into two broad categories known as: (1) Coastal Water Fishing, and (2) Deep-sea fishing. Deep Sea is further divided in two zones. The distance specified are: up-to 12 n. miles for coastal water fishing, 12 to 35 n.miles for Zone 1 and 35 to 200 n. miles for Zone II.


Coastal water fishing is done in the villages along the coast that are predominately inhabited by fisherman whose main livelihood is fishing. The fishermen community is mainly Sindhis, Balochis, Kutchies, Zikries and Makranis. Karachi, which is the nucleus of fishing industry, is an old fishing settlement.


In Sindh the south of the Karachi Coastal area is Indus delta and has a number of fishing settlements in creeks, of which Keti Bunder is an important center.


In Balochistan the major centers for fish catching are (I) Ormara (ii) Kalmat (iii) Pasni (iv) Gawadar (v) Jiwani (vi) Kor Bandar, (vii) Ras Shumal Bundar (viii) Kapar (ix) Sur (x) Peshukan and Bandari. Lassbella district has Sonmiani, Damb and Gadani as its fishing centres.


Fish Landing Points/Harbors


The harbors and main landing points with their provincial location and relative importance, are as follows:


Province         Relative Importance

  1. Karachi                         Sind                 **** H
  2. Korangi                         Sind                 *** H
  3. Ibrahim Haidery             Sind                 **
  4. Shams peer                         Sind                 *
  5. Lath Basti             Sind                 *
  6. Hawks Bay Coast Sind                 *
  7. Manjhar                         Sind                 *
  8. Sonari                         Sind                 *
  9. Mubarrak Village             Sind                 *
  10. Kaitee Bandar Sind                 **
  11. Shah Bandar Sind                 **
  12. Kharo Chaan Sind                 **
  13. Jatthi             Sind                 **
  14. Jhungi Sur Sind                 **
  15. Badeen             Sind                 **
  16. Gowadar             Baluchistan     *** H
  17. Pasni             Baluchistan     *** H
  18. Ormara             Baluchistan     ***
  19. Gaddani             Baluchistan     **
  20. Bhunda Wari Baluchistan     *
  21. Beroo             Baluchistan     *
  22. Sonmiani Daam Baluchistan     **


Legends: *       meets local users requirements

**     important

***   very important

**** most important

                        H = Fishing Harbor


Karachi Fish Harbour


The Karachi Fish Harbor was built in 1955-56. It is located at a distance of 5 km from the entrance of the Karachi commercial port. The total area available in the fish harbor is approx. 310,000 m2.


The infrastructure facilities available at the harbor include 10 floating piers i.e. pontoons (35 m x 5 m x approx. 2.8 m each) with a “head on” berthing capacity of 32 vessels on both sides of each pontoon. Ice / Bunker oil supply pier (35 x 55 m) is available on the west side of harbor entrance for future accommodation of 300 tons/day flake ice plant and an oil dispensing station. For maintenance and repair of large vessels one 80 m long slip way at a slope of 1:10 with a working platform of 31.5 x 12 m is available near the ice / bunker oil supply pier.  For lifting and launching of smaller fishing vessels two reinforced concrete platforms (12 x 18 m each) are present on the west and north banks. Two fish market halls 115 m x 22 m and 94 m x 26.5 m respectively are located on the southern pier each having a separate cold store. Between these two fish market halls an ice store measuring 16 m x 5.5 m x 3.5 m is provisioned. On top of this store flake ice-manufacturing facility of 50 tons/day is planned. Current production capacity of the flake ice plant is 20 tons/day. 300-tons/day flake ice plant to be installed at the ice pier shall come on stream in first quarter of 2000.


Spread over the harbor, the other prevailing utility facilities include; FCS -substation in the industrial area and a substation on west bank near the ice / bunker oil supply pier which is directly connected with FCS-substation via a 11 kV cable, floodlights covering the entire harbor, two cabins for sewer pump stations, control tower on top of the old fish market, four toilet blocks with a 100 m3 capacity septic tank, two under ground concrete water storage tanks of approx. 100000 gallons and 60000 gallons and an overhead concrete water storage tank of approx. 24000 gallons with a newly provided chlorination facility upto 3 ppm, an under-construction 105 ft x 37 ft x 12 ft plastic fish crates washing shed.


Since there was no govt. agency to maintain the harbour at that time, the responsibility was of operating and maintenance was entrusted to fishermen’s cooperative society. In 1974 the harbour was transferred to Sindh Govt.


By the late 1970’s it was realized that the harbour originally designed to handle only 400 fishing vessel. And at that time the harbour was handling about 2000 vessels, resulting in serious congestion in the channel. Secondly the landing jetty was in dilapidated condition and that emergent measure s were required to rehabilitate it.


As a result the study was carried out in 1980 under the aegis of Asian Development Bank which earmarked funds for this project and the harbour was expanded at the cost of RS. 250 million. European Economic Community offered a grant of 12 million ECU to meet the project expenditure. The expansion of harbour included rehabilitation of the existing quay, storage facilities, water and power supply and dredging and widening of channel from 90 to 120 meter. New facilities included construction of floating pontoons, new fish shed of 2500 sq.metre, slipway and infrastructure of boat repair yard, new roads, open storage areas, new water supply and electricity facilities, ice supply berth, bunker fuel supply berth and the fire fighting equipment. The project was completed in 1990. Karachi fish harbour authority was established in 1984 for rehabilitation of the harbour and equipping it with accessories.


Korangi Fish Harbor


Because the congestion at he Karachi fish harbour it was strongly felt that another harbour nearby should be developed. Accordingly in august 1978 Asian Development Bank approved a project and engaged M/s Norconsult to conduct feasibility studies for the second fisheries development project in Paksitan. The consultant completed the assignment in 1979. Consequently ADB provide loan in December 1980 of 25.338 US million dollars for the construction of this harbour. Th basic objective of the harbour is to increase the foreign exchange earnings through new catch by accommodating large size vessels by exploiting the untapped fisheries resources in the sea.


The total project cost incurred so far is Rs. 916 million. The project facilities includes 709 meter long jetty, an auction hall an administrative building, a generator building, provision of service and utilities, power and utilities, sewerage and water, reclamation of 180000 sq. meter port area. Including 40,000 sq. meter for establishing processing units. And 50,000 sq.metre for boat building and repair facilities. Construction of 2.5 km of access road and 3200 sq.metres gravelled areas and port roads, provision for navigational aid equipment, internal development of industrial area etc.


The harbor was completed in 1992 but till today it is not operative,although, in recent past some deep sea fishing vessels are using Korangi’s landing facilties. The KFHA authority was established in 1982 and started functioning in 1983.


There were two main objective of the harbour , one was to remove a congestion at the Karachi fish harbour and another was to promote deep sea fishing by accommodating larger size vessels for exploiting fishing vessels beyond 12. N miles. Neither of these objectives have yet been achieved.


Gawadar Fish Harbor


Compared to Sindh, Balochistan has a longer coastline, offering fish resources at a large coast. However the quantity landed in Balochistan is less than the sindh. This is attributed to lack of infrastructure and basic marketing facilities.


One important fish harbor in Baluchistan is  Gawadar which is situated at about 290 miles west of Karachi on the Balochistan coast. About 23 percent of the total fish catch for the country is obtained from Balochistan. Out of which the share of Gawadar is 37 percent. The construction of the Gawadar port was completed 1992. The project includes construction of 416 meter long and 65 meter wide jetty. To provide marketing facility for the daily fish landing, an auction hall of 3000 sq. meter is built over the jetty. For the safe and fast handling of fish catch, 500 hand trolleys and 1000 fish containers are also provided in the auction hall.


A storage shed covering an area of 1000 sq. meters is provided at the end of the jetty to facilitate the fishermen to get their needs like nets, spare parts etc. The powerhouse is equipped with 3nos 750 KVA generators. An underground tank of 150000-gallan s capacity is constructed. The port has its own dredges and support equipment comprising of dredge discharge line 4 km long, booster station, tug boat, work boat,  launch and barge.



Pasni Fish Harrbor


In order to increase fish production by providing improved fishing technology and basic infrastructure and marketing facilities to improve the socioeconomic conditions of fishermen community along the Mekran coast, the ADB agreed to provide financial assistance for construction of a compact fishery harbour at Pasni, because of its best suited location.


The project was started in 1987 and completed in 1989. The total cost of the project was Rs. 563 million of which Rs. 495 million was provided by ADB and the rest by Balochistan Govt. The project included construction of 1225 meters long jetties, 647 long berthing jetties, 150 meter long berth and cargo jetty, 100 meter long quay, 150 meter south berthing jetty, 60 meter unloading jetty, 120 meter north berthing jetty. 67 meter causeway jetty, 150 meter landing beach, 1300 sq.metre market hall and 800 sq.met port authority building. Power supply is 320 KVA through diesel generating set.. There are two tanks of 800000 litters of diesel 250,000 litter of kerosene oil. Beside this there are six small ice plants with total production of 5000 ice blocks per day.





Some Facts About Fish Harbors in Pakistan


It was observed that all the four fish harbors are under different administrative control. For example Karachi fish Harbour is under Government of Sindh., Korangi fish harbor under the MINFAL, Government of Pakistan, Gawadar fish harbour-cum mini port is under Ministry of Communication, Govt. of Pakistan and Pasni fish harbor is under Balochistan Govt. This causes lack of coordination and consistency in the government policies wrt to harbours management.


An important factor common to three fish harbors namely Korangi, Gawadar, and Pasni is the lack of electricity connection from main transportation lines of KESC or WAPDA. The electricity obtained through generators is not sufficient for the needs of harbors. Private sector is reluctant to construct processing plants due to shortage of power and other utlities.


There is no direct export facility from the Gawadar and Pasni harbors, the catch is brought to Karachi for export which is a main reason for the deterioration of the catch, because of poor road conditions and the time required for transportation, e.g., 30-40 hours.


Fishing Vessels


The following types of vessels are currently operating in fishing sector:


  1. Trawlers
  2. Gill-netters
  3. Long liners
  4. Howra for fresh trash fish
  5. Dhonda ( gill-netters)


Consolidated summary of Registered Fishing Vessels is tabulated below:



Registered Fishing vessels (1991-98)                                               (Unit: Numbers)

Vessels(Categories)           1991       1992        1993       1994       1995                                          1996       1997        1998      


Trawlers                            2007       2009        2028       2245       2252                                          2310       2427        2522

Gill-netters                        1480       1513        1604       1865       1871                                          1945       2015        2236

Motorized cum-Sailing      2940       3153        3211       3424       3430                                          3526       3611        3695

Sail Boats (Marine)           5505       5598        5651       5884       5895                                          5922       6253        6285

Total                                 11932     12273      12494     13418     13448                                          13703     14306      14738


Trawlers                             –           –              –              –              –              –                                           –           –

Gill-netters                         633       682          765          860          941                                           1019     1111        1162

Motorized cum-Sailing       3086     3239        3313        3552        3826                                           4022     4195        4250

Sail Boats (Marine)            159       142          142          89            23            26                                           39         39

Total                                  3878     4063        4220        4501        4790                                           5067     5345        5451       

Total Marine                    15810   16336      16714      17919      18238                                           18770   19651      20189     

Total Inland                      17934   14473      14645      20402      16439                                           16760   16882      17689     

Grand Total                      33744   30809      31359      38321      34677                                           35530   36533      37878     

Progressive addition                     2935        550          6962        3644        853                                           1003     1345       


   Source: MFD


Although there are around 20189 vessels registered for marine fishing but it is estimated that in actual the number of vessels in active operation can be as low as 4000.


Vessel’s Description




This vessel uses a trawling net for targeted shrimp catching. The net size (eye) varies according to the need of the owner and crew and weighs around 0.6 tons. These boats require powerful and well-maintained engines for pulling the trawling net (gujja). The size of these trawlers varies from 30 to 45 feet keel length and the crew ranges between 12 – 20 men. Trawlers remain continuously in operation from August till May. These trawlers are required to be registered with MMD (Mercantile Marine Department). These trawlers are fitted with 66 -240 HP marine diesel engines as well as non-marine engines. For cost effective trawling operations on long voyage it is imperative that the vessel is fitted with marine engines capable of continuos running throughout the voyage.




This vessel uses net for catching fish, these nets are relatively big and weigh around 0.6 to 2.5 tons. The size of these trawlers varies from 45 – 60 feet keel length and the crew ranges between 15 and 34 men. They remain continuously in operation throughout the year except June, July and August. During gill netting there engines remain idle. These vessels are required to be registered with MMD (Mercantile Marine Department).


Long liners


These are mainly deep sea fishing vessels over 100 GRT rating and are similar to trawlers but are equipped with winches for net pulling. Capacity is large and have powerful engines. These trawlers are required to be registered with MMD (Mercantile Marine Department).


Howra for fresh fish


These vessels are same as gill-netters with average overall length varying between 30 – 40 feet. Used for fishing voyage of one to three days. Use of ice is rather limited due to short duration. Most of these have removable fish holds.


Dhonda ( gill-netters)


These vessels are small lifeboats converted into fishing gill-netters. They use small nets and mostly kundi. Their size is below 30 feet and voyage ranges between one to three days.



Fishing Methods and Gears


Fishing nets used along the coast of the Pakistan are generally handbraided and are preferred as such by fishermen. Net making is a fisheries activity undertaken by fishermen themselves and by male and female members of their families, including children, particularly in the off-season of the southwest monsoons. Although small nets are inexpensive, larger nets, such as gill nets, may cost more than two hundred thousand rupees. The mesh size of fishnets depends on the types of fish sought. For example a mesh size of 2-3 inches is used for such fish as Hilsa, mackerels, catfish, perches and small sharks, 3-5 inch mesh for medium sized fish such as sharks, croakers and thread fins and a mesh size of 10 inch or larger sharks etc.



  1. Gill – Nets:

They are one of the most frequently used fishing nets on the coast of the Pakistan. Gill nets are basically of two types, namely, the drifting and bottom-set-gill net. They are large wall like nets are hung like vertical curtains of netting below the surface of water with the help of floats. They are made by joining end to end several rectangular pieces of nets to attain larger dimensions. The size of a gill – net operated from a fishing boat depends on the size of the boat itself. Net may measure 2400-2700 meter in length about 1600-1800 kg in weighing and has a life span of about five years.   Drifting gill nets catch pelagic shoaling fish while bottomset gillnets aim for demersal species. They have a mesh size of 5-6 inches from knot to knot and are operated in depths of about 55 meter.


  1. Trawl -Nets:

These can be broadly be of two types, namely, the pelagic or mid-water trawl, which is used for catching shoals of pelagic fish and also for demersal species which occasionally rise to the surface end, otter-trawl or bottom-trawl, which is used exclusively for demersal fishing. The net is lowered by the pair of nylon ropes called warps, which are connected to two wooden otter boards which keep the net open while it is being dragged on the bottom. The fish are collected by untying the cod-end of the net. Trawlers in Pakistan do not have the winches for shooting and hauling of the net so that the operations have to be performed manually. The length of the avarage Pakistani  trawl net is 23-30 m feet are operated in depths of about 50 m, mesh size-mouth is about 2.5cm.




  1. Beach Seines

This is also widely used net especially at the coast of Sindh, locally known as Bhaan. It is a large net about 140 m long and 2.5-4.5 m wide and has a mesh of about 2-10 cm. The bhaan is used for fishing along the beach in inshore waters used at high tide to catch mullets, Sillago sp., small pomfrets and shrimps.


  1. Cast-Nets

Cast-nets are mainly used by small scale fishermen, principally used to catch shrimp and sardinellas. Locally known as ‘Jari’ are of a polyhedral shape and have a diameter of 3-6 metre in the fully stretched condition. These nets are used in very shallow waters are can be operated by a 1-3 men.


  1. Hand- lines

Locally known as Dori, simplest line with one or two hooks commonly used on the coast of Balochistan. They are used by individual fishermen for catching small fish like cuttle fish, sharks, mackerels, croakers and grunters.


  1. Long-Lines

Long-lines are of two types. The one used for pelagic fishing and another for demersal fishing. Each line is about 150 m long and bears baited hooks on snoods placed at a distance of more than I km. When operations begin one end of the baited line is dropped in the sea and anchored to the bottom The position of the anchored is marked by a buoy. The line is picked up after desired time (can be a week ) and fishes are collected individually from hooks every 24 hours. The fishes caught are sharks, eel, rays, and sawfish.



There is a need to introduce moderen fishing gears such as squid jigging, crab fishing with pots, opening fish trawl (for good quality finfish), a mechanized deep-bottom gill-net, purse scienes and gill-nets and lobster fishing with gill-nets.




Landed Catch and Incremental Potential


Pakistan is rich in marine fishery resources, where catching is done in the coastal areas of Sindh and Baluchistan. According to a survey there are more than 30 species of shellfish and over 70 species of commercial finfish including Sardine, Hilsa, and Sharks are available in the Pakistani coast. The major varieties of fish include Mackerel, Butterfish, Pomfret, Indian Salmon, Beckti, Sole, Tuna, Jew fish, Sea Bream, catfish, Shark and Eel.


Following table indicates the commercial importance of various species of fish in Pakistan. For example the top two groups namely Herrings/sardines/Anchovies and Red fishes/basses/Congers consist of over 50% of total catch in Pakistan, the top five categories consist of over 81% of total catch, and top eight categories consist of over 90% of total catch.


Percentages of Fish catch in Pakistan



S#                 F.A.O Group                     Percentage                                                                            

  1. Herrings, Sardines, Anchovies 33.3
  2. Red fishes, Basses, Congers 17.5
  3. Tunas, Bonitos, Bill fishes 12.0
  4. Jack mullets, Sauries 11.4
  5. Sharks, Rays, Cimaeras 6.3
  6. Shrimp, Prawns 7.0
  7. Squids, Cuttle fishes, Octopii 1.2
  8. Mackerels, Snoeks, Cutlass fishes 0.8
  9. Flounders, Halibuts, Soles 0.4
  10. Shads 0.2
  11. Lobsters, Spiny, rock Lobsters 0.1
  12. Sea Spiders, Crabs 0.1
  13. Diadromous fishes 0.1
  14. Miscellaneous marine fishes 9.6

TOTAL                     100.0

Source: FAO reports 1997 Data


The total fish catch in Pakistan in 1997 was 589,731 m. tons, of which 422,207 tonnes (71%) was marine fish and 167,530 (29%) m. tons was Inland fish. Of the 422,207 marine fish 285,767 (68%) came from Sindh, 130,406(31%) came from Balochistan, and 6,028(1%) came from EEZ.


Fish Production         (in tonnes)


Year                    Marine                                Inland                             Total  

1993                    499,159                                122,536                            621,695

1994                    418,574                                139,525                            558,099

1995                    405,492                                136,425                            541,917

1996                    395,397                                160,092                            555,489

1997                    422,201                                167,530                            589,731

1998                    433456                                 163524                            596980

Source: MFD










Fish catch in Pakistan by Area and Source              (In tonnes)   


Area                                   Quantity (1998)   Quantity (1997)   Quantity (1996                                 Quantity (1995)  


Sindh                                  106,611                 102,508                 91,367                                           75,380

Punjab                                53,924                   61,098                   64,482                                           56,966

NWFP                                840                        743                        1,271                                           1,503

Northern Areas                  83                          110                        195                                           181

Dams and Reservoirs         2,066                     3,071                     2,777                                           2,395

Subtotal                            163,524                 167,530                 160,092                                           136,425


Sindh                                  295,648                 285,767                 267,841                                           280,756

Balochistan                        130,799                 130,406                 125,099                                           122,515

EEZ                                   7,009                     6,028                     2,457                                           2,221

Subtotal                            433,456                 422,201                 395,397                                           405,492

Grand Total                      596980                  589,731                 555,489                                           541,917

Source: Marine fisheries Department


The above figures clearly show imbalance in exploitation of marine resources. Despite having 70% of Pakistan’s coast line, Baluchistan’s share in our total landed catch is only 30%.  The reasons are that Balochistan fish harbors at Gawadar and Pasni are much less developed and infrastructure facilities like cold storage, ice making, and road networks are virtually non-existent or non-operational. The Exclusive Economic Zone (35-200NM) comprises of about 85% of our total fishing grounds and add only 1% to our landed marine catch. This situation is mainly attributed to our obsolete fishing fleet which is not equipped to exploit marine resources in high seas.


Distribution of Landed Catch in Major Fish Types


From the total catch of 589,731 m.tons in 1997, the total marine catch is about 422,201 MT. According to the MFD sources out of this 211,100 Mt about (50%) was inedible known as trash fish which is mainly use for manufacturing fishmeal. (According to the industry sources the inedible fish catch counts about 70% of the total marine catch). The 211,100 Mt marine edible fish consist 27,4 44(13%) of shrimp and 183656 Mt (87%) consist of edible fish in volume. But the ratio is reverse in value. The 17,499 tonnes of shrimp exported in 1997, fetch about US$ 104,986(61%) and 59,791 of fish exported fetch US$66,599 (39%) of the total export value.


Specie wise Landing




In the absence of shrimp farming activities of any significance, fishery export industry in Pakistan is mainly dependent on capture fishery for shrimp operation from the coast of Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Altogether there are 15 species of marine shrimp in Pakistani waters under two families of Penaeidae and Solenoceriadae of which commercially important species fall under the Peneidae family. Of these Kiddi shrimp alone accounts for nearly 49 percent of the total shrimp production. However banana shrimp, Indian white shrimp and red-tail prawn form the so-called ‘Jaira’shrimp is commercially the most important category. Shrimp of Metapaneous spp are collectively called ‘Kalri’ in local languages. All these species occur at different salinity’s and depth ranging from brackish waters and coastal waters to a depth of some 170 m.


Shrimp fishery is active from August to February, mostly in shallow waters.  Yearly shrimp’s landings have been fluctuating widely from last 10 years ranging from 27921 Mt in 1990 and 25269 Mt in 1998. It is clear that the maximum sustainable level of exploitation has already been reached in the available resources. This has also been confirmed by stock assessment studies indicating the Jhaira shrimp in Pakistan was overfished even as early as 1986. It is obvious that there is little scope for any substantial increase in shrimp production from capture fisheries in Pakistan.






The first major attempt to culture shrimp in Pakistan was made in 1982 when the Department of Fisheries, GOS started a shrimp farming pilot projection Richhal Creek, Gharo as part of the ADB-financed Aquaculture Development project. Private sector investors namely Lipton Farm, Baloch farm and Mansour Sheriff farm also invested in the projects.. Though all these projects had demonstrated the commercial feasibility of shrimp culture in Paksitan, none has susucceeded in continuing the operations.




The volume of Tuna landed in Pakistan has fluctuating widely during the past decade. From a meager 8541 MT recorded in 1980 the quality nearly doubled the next year, rapidly increasing to peak of 31854 MT by 1988, and it continue in this range till 1995. The catch of Tuna and Tuna like species in 1998 were recorded 23075 MT. According to the gathered data from the total landings around 55 percent is the long tail tuna.

The Species of Tuna and Tuna like fishes in Pakistan are:


  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Longtail Tuna
  • Kawakawa tuna
  • Skipjack tuna
  • Frigate and bullet tuna
  • Other tunas of scombroidei
  • Seerfishes
  • Bilfishes


The fishing vessels engage in Tuna catching are motorized gill-netters that carry out fishing operation in traditional way. Since most of the boat for tuna catch do not carry ice, the catch is gutted and salted on board and landed in wet salted condition, the fishing trip along the coast ranges from 15-25 days, sometime more than a month.


In Pakistan tuna fishery is a relatively neglected activity. The GOP has taken steps to encourage commercial exploitation of oceanic tunas by encouraging foreign tuna long liners as per the new Deep Sea Fishing Policy.




Among the three common groups of cephalopods mostly squids and cuttle fish is being exploited with only stray catches of octopus, mostly from coastal waters. This type of fishing is mostly taken by haila a one-day fishing. There is no targeted fishery for cephalopods and almost the entire quantity landed is obtained as a bycatch from shrimp fishery.



TABLE -12         

Species(English name)                                      1994          1995            1996                                                                            1997          1998           

Bombay Duck                                                     121            98                101                                                                            95              91

Seacat fishes                                                       42112        45444          49428                                                                            54437        55934

Greater Lizard fish                                             87              43                45                                                                            28              22

Dragger-tooth pike-conger                                 5725          4692            4901                                                                            5637          5080

Groupers                                                             7617          8600            9793                                                                            10474        13991

Sillago whitings                                                   365            423              289                                                                            266            218

False trevally                                                      4                3                  2                                                                            4                5

Snappers                                                             2524          3145            2002                                                                            2394          3192

Japenese threadfin breams                                 752            952              516                                                                            1783          969

Grunts                                                                 4849          5537            5268                                                                            6010          6221

Spotted croakers                                                 6674          8133            7348                                                                            8751          9762

Croakers nei                                                       16134        17068          12586                                                                            11677        9863

Emperors                                                            1660          1643            1549                                                                            1911          2334

Longsspine kingsoldier bream                            3092          2440            2176                                                                            2252          2717

Seabreams nei                                                     774            918              921                                                                            806            1255

Scats                                                                   2                3                  3                                                                            3                9

Indo pacific flathead                                           2                2                  2                                                                            5                9

Barracuda                                                           2923          2342            2878                                                                            2683          2664

Mullets                                                                19039        17280          17631                                                                            18935        17580

Threadfins                                                           853            812              825                                                                            884            969

Hairtail scad                                                        5244          6511            4010                                                                            3325          3505

Queenfishes                                                        13760        16495          15957                                                                            19002        18689

Travallies                                                            4003          4631            3972                                                                            5391          6523

Black Pomfret                                                    2199          3066            2221                                                                            2322          2109

Common dolphin fish                                         2054          2570            1841                                                                            1658          1892

Silver pomfret                                                     2985          4156            2799                                                                            3788          4089

Cobia                                                                  1541          2306            1574                                                                            1449          1254

Indian Oil sardinellas                                          65050        55177          52290                                                                            51930        44079

Thryssas                                                              18111        17564          14091                                                                            16113        13165

Dorab Wolfherrings                                            1204          2289            1580                                                                            1931          2051

Clupeoidei nei                                                     37209        31426          27576                                                                            26650        25487

Seerfishes                                                            10536        12330          10108                                                                            12009        12980

Long tail Tuna                                                    2384          1860            4121                                                                            4073          4161

Tuna nei                                                              17176        13063          14760                                                                            17949        18914

Sailfishes                                                             843            691              675                                                                            710            2086

Black Marlins                                                     2089          1993            2159                                                                            1620          1780

Hair tail                                                               6320          6093            9073                                                                            11583        12232

Requiem Sharks                                                  30226        32888          34337                                                                            31179        35261

Guitar fish                                                           1442          1208            1422                                                                            1481          1564

Rays                                                                    18481        16445          15563                                                                            15769        17576

Sawfishes                                                            50177        49964          51432                                                                            48429        51335

Finfishes nei                                                        8821          17700          16306                                                                            16600        17033

Swimming Crab                                                  650            1877            3200                                                                            3989          5680

Palinurid spiny lobsters nei                                 669            615              724                                                                            765            782

Panaeus shrimps nei (white)                               6021          5723            6123                                                                            6115          5311

Metapenaues shrimps (brown/pink)                   7120          6981            7602                                                                            6801          6204

Kiddi shrimps                                                      16023        12919          14047                                                                            16722        13854

Cephalopods nei                                                 18482        5287            5908                                                                            8988          6525

TOTAL                                                              418,574     405,492                                                                            395,357     422,201                                                                            433,098    

Source: Marine fisheries Department


Existing Fisheries Resources and Incremental Potential


Assessing accurate figures for the biomass of different types of fish is a difficult task, because it requires large vessels with electronic and other devices, depth measuring equipment and also the services of highly qualified experts etc.


Various Government agencies, FAO, UN agencies, and Marine Fisheries Department of Govt. of Pakistan have undertaken studies to determine fishery resources in Pakistan but all have come up with different estimates. After the stock survey in 1987  Marine Fisheries department has however arrived at a certain figure for different species of Fish.


The following table depicts the biomass, maximum sustainable yield (MSY), landings and incremental potential.   


TABLE -13                             (in tonnes)

Resources                          Biomass            M.S.Y               Landings  (1998                                           Incremental  Potential            

Small Pelagic Species        700,000             300,000             86,847                                           213,153

Large Pelagic Species        80,000               60,000               39,285                                           20,715

Demersal Species               500,000             300,000             26,7985                                           32,015

Shrimp                               88,000               35,000               25,369                                           —-

Cephalopods                      20,000               12,000               6,525                                           5475

Mollusks                            8,000                 4,000                 625                                           3,375

Crabs                                 10,000               6,000                 5680                                           320

Lobster                              1,300                 600                    782                                           —-

Mesopelagics                     10,000,000        5 000,000          —                                           5,000,000

TOTAL                             11,407,300        5,717,600          433,098                                           5,275,053         

Source: Marine fisheries Department


It will be noted from the above table that shrimp cephalopods, mollusks, crabs and lobsters do not have much incremental potential. Therefore the only additional benefits to be derived from these species is to have value added processing.  Considerable incremental potential exists in small pelagic species like sardines and anchovies and in large pelagic species such as tuna and mackerel. These species can be used for canning and other forms of processing of sardines, anchovies and tunas.  Tuna and mackerel can also be exported raw (sashimi).


The large incremental potential of about 5 million tons exists in mesopelagic lantern fish of one inch to two inch long which is found in 300 to 1000 meters depth in day time and 50 to 500 meters during nighttime. It is good only for making fish meal or fish paste, preferably on board.


Exploitation of Un-tapped Resources and Preservation


Most of the marine catch is done within 12 nautical miles from the coast. As most of the boats are small with little catching and preserving equipment on board. This reduces the catch per boat and therefore increases the cost of fishing on per kg basis.


Deep Sea Zone 1 (12 to 35 nautical miles) although reserved for local fisherman, remains under utilized for paucity of modern boats equipped with necessary gadgets for catch and preservation.


The area between 35 to 200 nautical miles declared as EEZ Zone 2 is reserved for foreign as well as Pak Flag vessels, which operate under license from the Government of Pakistan. The catch in Zone 2 is very nominal and therefore it remains to be exploited. Foreign vessels have been found to operate in Zone 2 without license from the government and even enter into Zone 1 with collaboration with local firms.


The immediate need is in the shrimp fishery is to enforce measures, which will stop over fishing because of too many trawlers. This will allow the stocks of “jhaira” and “kalri” Shrimp to recover and production to rise. These measures should also minimize the danger of depletion of shrimp stock (including “kiddi”) through overexploitation.


The shrimp aquaculture (along creaks and shallow waters near the coast) have not been developed. Fish processors are apprehensive about the future prospects of shrimp catch because of pollution hazards decreasing discharge of the Indus River due to the construction of dams and barrages and over exploitation.


Un-exploited available yield of demersal species is 74,000 tons a year.  Most of this is located in the portion of the continental shelf beyond the 20-meter depth line. Financial and Technical assistance is needed at this stage to convert the shrimp trawlers to gill netting, and long lining for exploiting under-utilized demersal stocks. Potential exists for catching pelagic such as Tuna, Mackerel and Shark. Cuttlefish and squid resources exist on the continental shelf and oceanic squid beyond the shelf.


A large amount of mesopelagic resources remains un-exploited and an annual catch of several hundred thousand tons can be expected. No effort has been made to explore the commercial possibilities of alternate fisheries. These include Seaweed’s, Crustaceans (other than shrimp) Mollusks, and Echinoderm.


Marine resources such as seaweed, small coastal and pelagic shrimp and clamps

Inhabiting mangrove areas are not presently exploited. It is felt that some significant economic potential is tied up in these resources and further investigations are justified.


Disposition of Landed catch (Case at Karachi Fish Harbor)


The marketing channel of the fish is more or less similar to those of agricultural products, where Land lord provides a Land and the peasant grows the commodities. The produce is then sold in the market through commission agents to wholesalers and then to retailers and finally to consumers. The income after deducting the cost of direct inputs is shared by the Landlord and the peasant.


Similarly, the flow of the fish is channeled from boat owner/fish catcher to commission agent, to wholesaler, to retailer, to consumer for local market. It goes from commission agent to exporter/processor to importer to consumer for export market. As described in the channel distribution chart. The owner of the vessel is usually separate from the fish catcher, known as “Na Khuda”. The boat owner lends his boat to the “Na Khuda” on profit sharing basis, generally equally divided. Thus, if the catch is sold, let us say, for Rs.15, 000 the owner will deduct the direct cost of such items as Oil, ration to the crew, ice, and salt. No depreciation, repair, or replacement costs are included in it. If the expenses (for example) comes to RS. 5000 the remaining Rs. 10,000 will be divided equally, Rs.5000 each by the boat owner and fish catcher. Since the boat remains in the water for the several days, the “Na Khuda” takes a crew with him, which generally consist of his family members. But if the family members are not available, he may hire crew and pay them from his own share of earning.



Channels of Distribution for Fish and Fish Products































The fish catcher brings his catch to the auction hall, where commission agent (called mole holder) authorized by Fishermen Co-operative Society (FCS) awaits the arrival of the catch. Only the authorized commission agent can process the sale and no fishermen can sell his product directly to wholesaler, retailer, consumer, fish processor or exporter.


The commission agent arranges the auction for the catch. Purchasers assess the value of the commodity, make their bids, and the commodity goes to the highest bidder. The fisherman pays 6.25 percent of the gross value of the commodity, which is divided equally by the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society (FCS) and auctioneer.


The fish is passed on from the catcher via the commission agent to the processor/exporter to importer or the local wholesaler, then to retailer, and finally to consumer.


The fish is generally brought to the auction hall/market on the fish harbor where the processor/exporter or wholesaler purchase the catch. Almost all the processing units are located in Karachi. Therefore the catch meant for processing/export is either purchased at harbor, or is brought to Karachi immediately if purchased at other fish harbors. The purchase made for local sale is bought by wholesaler who delivers it to the retailer in local market, who ultimately sells to consumer.


Structural Problems of Marketing


Geographic Constraints

In Pakistan, primarily warm water fishing is done, and marine fishing is done in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces, which have severe warm climate. The fish harbor of Gawadar and Pasni are located in Balochistan, some 300-400 km away from Karachi, which puts severe constraints in marketing of fish.


Lack of Basic Infrastructure

Aside from the geographic constraints, lack of infrastructure facilities is another impediment to smooth marketing. To begin with there are virtually no road network to quickly transport the fish. For example, driving from Quetta to Turbat, Pasni, Gawadar and Panjgur there is hardly any metalled road at all. Thus transportation became extremely difficult. The inadequate number of non-refrigerated transport vehicles are also old and dilapidated. Frequent breakdowns and lack of repair facilities also affect the fish distribution. Then there is a non-existence of ice-making, refrigeration, and refrigerated transport facilities, which poses problem of quick disposal.


Paucity of Funds

The fishermen are, by and large, extremely poor. Thus, when the catch is brought for sale, they are over-anxious to cash in their catch. The middlemen takes advantage of this situation and pay as little as possible. Another factor is that commission agent generally finance the social events of fishermen such as marriages of their daughters, repairing of their houses, purchase of staples, etc. Fishermen being unable to pay off their loans in time are forced to sell their fish at the dictated prices.


Illiteracy and Traditionalism  

Since the fishermen are illiterate, they are not aware of their importance and bargaining position.


Channels of Disposition of the Catch

A substantial quantity of fish is consumed locally. In addition, small pelagic and by catch of trawl fishing is being used for production of fishmeal. Remaining balance is exported in salted dried, frozen and chilled form. The following table gives the year wise disposition of the catch.










Channels of Disposition of Fish (Marine & Inland)                                      (in tonnes)     


Disposition Channels            1994                  1995             1996             1997                                              1998                 

Marketing fresh                     229,128             238,314        237,925                                              261,358             268,736

Freezing                                52,378               41,476          48,449                                              56,122               53,498

Canning                                 160                    32                 120               90                                              –

Curing                                   42,546               42,149          44,448                                              46,545               46,046

Subsistence                           44,685               34,458          36,103                                              36,482               38,550

Fish Meal                              189,202             185,488        188,444                                              189,134             190,150

Total                                     558,099             541,917        555,489                                              589,731             596,980       

Source: Marine fisheries Department



In an earlier study carried out  by the ADB in 1986, it was estimated that only about 26% of the total catch was consumed locally as food fish. Accordingly per capita food fish supply has been worked out at 1.6 kg.


Production of Marine Edible/Inedible Fish 


Due to the poor marketing practices, amongst various other reasons, the production of the fish has not only stood still but if you see the figures of 1991-96 from production table it has shown a declining trend.


Due to indiscriminate catching of fish, a large portion of total fish caught turns out to be trash fish, which is either used for fishmeal or other non-edible purposes, or it is simply thrown away. This is one of the cause of low income of the fishermen, because trash fish fetches a very nominal price.


According to the figures given by Marine fisheries department the percentage of trash fish has ranged from 38% to 51% of the total fish catch for last 10 years, and the overall average for the 10 years comes to about 42%, which is very high ratio for any fish catch.


Note: (According to the industry sources the percentage of trash fish is about

60-70% of the total catch)



Quantities and percentage of Edible and trash fish of the total Marine fish Catch year (1987-1998)                    (in tonnes)


Year                 Total Marine Catch              Edible fish                Trash fish

Qty                     %            Qty                         %                                  

1987                 336,129                          166,042              49             170,087                         51

1988                 348,897                          184,254              53             164,643                         47

1989                 341,222                          174,851              51               166,371                         49

1990                 369,802                          196,946              53             172,856                         47

1991                 402,795                          225,405              56             177,390                         44

1992                 431,465                          245,758              57             185,707                         43

1993                 499,159                          310,755              62             188,404                         38

1994                 418,574                          230,372              55             188,202                         45

1995                 405,492                          220,004              54             185,488                         46

1996                 395,397                          206,953              52             188,444                         48

1997                 422,201                          211,100              50             211,100                         50

1998                 433,456                          243,306              56             190,150                         44

Source: Marine Fisheries department



Total Production of Edible Marine and Inland Fish Available

The percentage of trash fish in the marine catch is very high, whereas Inland fish is almost all edible. Although the total quantity of marine fish is high, the quantity of edible fish is less. The following table shows the total availability of edible fish available in Pakistan.


Total Quantity of Edible fish available in Pakistan (1987-1998)   (in tonnes)


Year                 Marine Edible fish Inland Fish                    Total                  

1987                 166,042                    91,631                            257,673

1988                 184,254                    96,545                            280,799

1989                 174,851                    105,009                          279,860

1990                 196,946                    113,158                          310,104

1991                 225,405                    115,907                          341,312

1992                 245,758                    121,653                          367,411

1993                 310,755                    122,536                          433,291

1994                 230,372                    139,525                          369,897

1995                 220,004                    136,425                          356,429

1996                 206,953                    160,092                          367,045

1997                 219,545                    167,530                          387,075

1998                 243,306                    163,524                          406830

Source: Marine Fisheries department



Auction System at Karachi Fish Harbour


Immediately after landing catch has to pass through the auction process for sale. The authorized appointees of Fishermen Cooperative Society called Moles carry out auction. On return from the voyage, the boat captain called Nakhuda informs the boat owner and the mole holder to arrange for the auction. The boat crew brings catch to auction hall where mole arranges a display of catch for interested buyers. After the display mole invites the buyers to bidding process and acts on boat owner’s behalf to gain maximum price. The buyer giving the highest acceptable bid is considered the final bidder and the catch is sold to him. The mole issues a gate pass in favor of buyer allowing him to take catch to his factory and in return buyer agrees to pay the agreed sum to the mole in near future which later on mole pays to boat owner and to the crew. The mole in return of his services deducts 6.25% of the total catch as commission out of which the mole pays 3.125% to FCS as contribution by fisherman for the social development projects aimed towards fishermen.


The mole in order to attract boats also acts as a working capital financier for the voyage and also extends short term to long term financing to fishermen community for the social purposes. Running mole is a very profitable business as the running finance required to attract one boat is about Rs100, 000 and the net auction commission is more than the initial loan. Secondly, the running finance is paid in form of commodities so mole also makes money in procurement of commodities.


Due to unorganized setup, limited number of buyers and lack of economic awareness among fishermen, middlemen exploits the situation and make abnormal profits. The market is dominated by few huge buyers, who control the pricing mechanism. All middleman and genuine buyers have agreed to an informal buying cartel under which they decide what to buy and at what price. At the end of voyage the boat owner and the boat crew are in desperate need of money therefore they sell there product at through away prices to middleman who then resells the product to other traders and the final products costs 3 to 4 times more expensive than the initial auction price.


Karachi is the largest fish auction point in Pakistan, it nearly handles about 400,000 tons of fish every year, but still there is no proper auction system. All auction is on word of mouth basis and all existing documents are not properly filled. The documentation standards are below international levels and the are no sources for reliable data.


Process Flow: From Harvesting to Processing



The Principal craft used by coastal fisherman are known as trawlers, gill-netters, and horas. A traditional wooden trawler undertakes a fishing trip for about 10 to 25 days duration. The basic input of the industry is in a haphazard and dilapidated condition. Most of the boats are wooden, non-mechanized, old and out-dated. They have therefore outlived their utility.  Facilitates of On-board chilling system is missing, which are responsible for lot of waste. Third none of these fishing vessels are equipped with navigational or electronic devices like sonar, echo sounders or other fishing aids. Fourth is the lack of the education and training among boat -builders have made the matter worse.


Fishing Technology

The fisherman over 90% of whom are illiterate, are still following the centuries old technology of “feel and See”. They take their wooden hull boats in the shallow water, throw their nets and leave it to the nature for getting some fish.  Some time they may stay in the water for a whole week and return with very little or nothing at all. They are not even aware of the navigational aids as fish finders and echo sounders. Technology to discriminate between the edible and trash fish, species of various kinds, and size of fish, etc. must be taught to fisherman to be more productive.


Voyage Time:

Due to the non-mechanization of the boats and non-availability of the navigational or electronic devices like sonar, echo sounders or other fishing aids it was observed that 50% of the total voyage time is wasted only on finding of the fish.


Average Voyage time


             7-10 days


10-15 days


20-25 days


7-10 days


2-3 days





May    Aug     Sept   Oct      Nov    Dec       Feb    March





Post Harvesting 

The fish holds of these trawlers are not insulated. For preservation of catch the insufficient crushed ice is applied. Since no plastic crates are used for storing the catch on board, the catch is piled up in the fish hold with the result that the two third of the piled up fish of the whole catch is crushed and de-shaped under pressure. All these factors lead to deterioration of the quality of landed fish. Due to the post harvest losses, the poor quality fish fetches less price to the fishermen. Therefore to contain these post harvest losses, the fish holds of the traditional boats urgently needed to be insulated. A cooling and refrigerated system must be installed and use of plastic crates for storing the catch in the fish hold should be mandatory. Careful handling at the port should also need to be encouraged.


Landing (at harbor)

Fish harbor is one of the most important infrastructure facilities in the fishery development. It not only allows the boats to operate but also enables fishermen’s to dispose off their products for local consumption and export. Karachi fish harbor was constructed in early 1960 to accommodate the fleet of about 400 vessels. At present the harbor is handling about more than 4000 fishing vessels, resulting in serious congestion in the channel. There is no any system of vessel movement after unloading its catch, after unloading of its catch the vessel stays and leaves the jetty, when it has to go for another voyage, which takes at-least 3-4 days. As the catch is arrives at the jetty, It is handled very Un-hygienically right from Unloading to Auction hall and then to market. After the catch is unloaded, there is no any preparatory area for the de-icing, sorting and the grading and it directly comes in to the auction halls. The deicing, sorting and grading is done on the floors or at the deck of the boats with the channel water.  The Landing of long voyage boats is usually starts in the late evening and continue till morning, in the mean the auction is continue according to the species landed at that time. The landings of the fresh catches of haila & Dhoonda (a short trip boats) is done after 3.00 pm in the evening and continues till 6.00 pm. There are two cold storage facilities for storing the catch are in the both auction halls but are not being properly used. There is no any arrangement of washing and proper handling of catch. The sanitary and hygienic conditions at fish harbor are not according to the international standards.



Auctioning of the long voyage iced boats is starts in the 6.00 a.m. in the morning and continues till 12.00 noon of both the shrimps and fish. The auction of fresh catch is done from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. in the evening.  In this time the catch remains on the floor of the auction hall without any proper chilling facility. The grading and the weighing is done in the auction hall. There is no any proper system of sorting and Grading.  After the auctioning there is a lack of handling equipment and proper transportation to the processing unit or peeling shed or to the local market.



Landing at the other fishing centers is first transported to the Karachi fish harbour for the auction then it is distributed. From the nearby centers like Ibhraim Haydri and Korangi it is brought through trucks, vans and Suzuki’s packed in ice, covering short distances. However for long distances transportation from Karachi fish harbour to inland markets in the Punjab and Sindh province, railways are the principal carriers, often the catch is de-headed and gutted before icing to enhance quality.this is the most famous and cost-effective mode of transportation.

Fishing boats operating off Balochistan coast also act as a fish carriers, collecting catches from Pasni and Gawadar or other fish landing points to Karachi harbour. The time taken by different mode of transport ranges from 24 to 30 hours and from boat is 15 hours, in all the cases the catch is ice and packed in wicker boxes.



Seafood Processing Industry



Fish is a perishable food item therefore need for preservation is immense. In order to maintain quality of fish, to increase shelf life of the product and to ensure continuity of supply the concept of preservation and curing have been in use in one form or the other since centuries. In fisheries sector preservation of fish quality means freezing the natural qualities and attributes of the product immediately after the catch (in developed countries) or after the landing (in developing countries). Freezing here means decreasing the temperature of the fish product from 5 degrees to – 40 degrees.


The fish processing has three major areas namely:


  • Value Addition Process
  • Freezing
  • Packaging


Value Addition Process


As discussed earlier value addition in fish product is a combination of 3 major factors namely:


  • Product Attributes
  • Brand Name
  • Distribution Channel


Under the processing section of the report emphasis is on Production process and Product attributes. Both product attributes and production process depends upon the selection of the final product and the target market. The market trends very clearly suggests that there is excessive demand for quality oriented ready to eat fish products. These products enjoy a premium market rate and sales are virtually guaranteed. Below are the production flow charts for most common species of shrimp and fish.



The three major forms of freezing are:

  • Nitrogen Freezing
  • Individual Quick Freezing
  • Blast Freezing


Nitrogen Freezing

Nitrogen freezing technique is a very recently developed technique and is currently under experimental phase. The process preserves the quality and freshness of the product with in a minute and the shelf life of the product is about 1 year. As the technique is in the experimental phase the operating costs are too high and it is very rare in use.


Individual Quick freezing

Individual quick freezing technique commonly known as IQF is most widely used method and most cost effective method of freezing. The IQF process takes only 3 to 8 minutes (depending upon the process and the product) to bring down the product temperature from 5 degrees to – 40 degrees and the shelf life of the product increases from a few days to about 6 to 8 months. IQF is the most recommended form of freezing and several countries including EU are now planning to make IQF as a pre requisite for imports. The final customer of an IQF product is household individual who purchases it for his consumption.


Blast Freezing

Blast freezing technique is the most basic form of processing which is only used in developing countries. The process takes about 8 hours to freeze the product and the costs more. The product sells at a discount and it has major selling problems. The only customer for this product is a re-processor who after some value addition finally passes it through an IQF process.



Packaging is as important as processing. Product has to be packed in food grade, convenient, attractive economical and market oriented packs with proper brand names on it. The broad packing requirements varies from product to product but some of major types of packaging are:

  • Canning
  • Vacuum Bag Packing
  • Shrink Wrapping
  • Jumbo Packing


Current Status of Fish Processing in Pakistan

The fish-processing sector of Pakistan is in far better shape than the fishing sector. but still the processing sector had not kept upgrading with the International technological advancements, the change in demand patterns and customer preferences for which the country paid the price in form of losing market share and lower average unit prices.


Except for Blast freezing plants (so called processing units) there is no modern value added fish processing plant producing products like breaded buttered shrimps, fish fingers, fish cakes, fish paste, fish sauce or surimi products. Three major categories of exports oriented fish processing activities mechanical means in Pakistan are freezing, canning and fish meal production. In traditional sector curing is the most popular method of fish preservation method which accounts for considerable quantities of finfish, fish maws and shark fins.



Processing Capacities




The are 27 processing units with a total installed capacity of about 450 tones per day.

Out of 27 only 21 plants of total 300 tons per day capacity are in operation with others closed down due to several reasons. The average capacity utilization for the processing sector is about 25 %.


All the existing plants have secondhand blast and plate freezers (about 10 to 15 years old) with a few as exception. These old plants consume about double of electricity (electricity is biggest portion of operating expense), as a result product does not remain competitive and the over all risk increases.



There are 11 canning plants in with a total installed capacity of 106 MT/Day, with only one in operation. The only operational plant is crab meat-processing unit, which has only survived because of being non-traditional in nature. Shrimp canning industry flourished in late sixties and early seventies but later on died very rapidly on emergence of very cheap but quality oriented products from South East Asian countries and extensive dependence on imported cans (as a well established local canning industry still does exist).



Fish Meal


The small size of pelagic and the BI-catch caught by shrimp trawlers are used for industrial purposes in the production of fishmeal. Besides, small pelagic fish caught in creeks and inshore water by small crafts are also utilized in production of fishmeal.


All fishmeal plats are located in Karachi near Ibrahim Hydri. Most of the fish meal plants are 25 to 30 years old with no oil extracting provisions as a result losing huge sum of money. The most common practice is to use sun-dried fish and fish offal, which are sterilized with steam and again dried in sun. Then it is pulverized in a grinder and packed in jute bags. Some plants also use mechanical dryer after sterilization. The net yield during this process ranges from 20% to 22 % and the protein is between 40% to 50%, which is well below international standards.

Fishmeal industry is in the decline stage of product life cycle as local industry is not able to compete with international fishmeal producers. All local fish meal producers will be wiped out by Chinese product which is better in quality and is still cheaper than the local product.



Fisheries Related Rules And Acts


  1. The Pakistan Fish Inspection & Quality Control Act, 1997.
  2. The Pakistan Fish Inspection & Quality Control Amendment (Ordinance), 1998.
  3. The Pakistan Fish Inspection & Quality Control Rules, 1998.
  4. The Sindh Fisheries Ordinance, 1980.
  5. The Balochistan Sea Fisheries Sea Fisheries Act No. IX of 1971.
  6. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.
  7. The Agriculture Produce (Grading & Marketing) Act 1937.
  8. The Pakistan Animal Qurantine (Import and Exports of Animal and Animal Products) Ordinance, 1979
  9. The Karachi Fish Harbour Authority Ordinance, 1984.


(All the above documents are available in the MFD’s document of Health conditions for European Commission.)


Legislation of the Country


(a) The Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act, 1937.

This act provides authority and control for the grading and the marketing of the agricultural produce. Dry fish, shellfish, and fishmeal are graded under the provision of this act.


(b) The Baluchistan Sea Fisheries Act No. IX 1971: provides authority of fishing crafts, fishing license and processing of fish and fishery products in the territorial water of Pakistan along the coast of Balochistan. Contravention of any provision of the Ordinance is punishable by one month imprisonment or with a 5000 rupee fine or both.


(c) The Pakistan Animal Quarantine (Import and Export for Animal and Animal Products) Ordinance 1979: This Ordinance provides for control over Import and Export of animals and animal products and issue of “health Certificate” to regulate the trade and to prevent the introduction or spread of diseases.


(d) The Karachi Fisheries Harbor Authority Ordinance 1984: provides law to carry out efficient operation of harbor facilities and to inspect periodically hygienic conditions of processing plants, ice plants, cold storage and other related activities.


(e) The Sindh Fisheries Ordinance, 1980: This Ordinance provides rules and regulations for marketing, handling, transportation, processing and storage of fish and shrimp for commercial purpose and sale of fish used for domestic and inters provincial trade. Contravention of this Ordinance is punishable by imprisonment up to six months or with by a fine of 10,000 rupees or both.


(f) The Coastal Development Authority Act Sindh Act No. XXVIII 1994: It provides law for planning, Development operation, management and maintenance of coastal areas including development of fisheries, livestock, horticulture and agriculture.


(g) The Pakistan Environmental Protection Ordinance No XXVII: It becomes effective at the beginning 1997 provides law for protection, conservation and improvement of environment for the prevention and control of pollution including biodiversity, ecosystem, effluent, hazardous substance, emission and water pollution.


(f) Pakistan Fish Inspection and Quality Control Act, 1997: The Government has passed a number of Acts for Inspection, Grading, quality control and marketing especially for exports. For example exports of fish was covered under Agriculture produce (Grading and Marketing) Act 1937 and Animal Quarantine (Import and Export of Animal and animal products) Ordinance 1979. The Sindh government passed fisheries Ordinance, 1980. But the latest is Pakistan Fish inspection and Quality Control Act, 1997. Which deals with the registration of the fish processing plants and fish exporters, and constitutions and functions of inspection committee. The function of the committee includes inspection of fish processing plants, fish exports, handling of fish and fishery products. It also spells out the powers, duties and functions, of fishery officers and penalties on the processors/exporters for contravention.


The Acts and Ordinances are in Vogue but are not stringently practiced. Marine fisheries Department issues certificates of quality and Origin for fresh, frozen, canned fish/shrimp, conducting pre-shipment inspection of the consignments to ensure that proper standardization of fish and fishery products are enforced.

The following criteria are used to ensure quality control of fish and fishery products.


  1. Pakistan standard for fish and fishery products as defined in Pakistan Standards Institution (Certification Marks) Ordinance, 1961.
  2. Code of practice for fish/shrimp-Codex Alimentarious Commission of FAO/WHO.



In order to promote the quality of fish and fishery products, following measures are suggested:


  1. Fishermen and producers should make use of adequate quantity of ice for the preservation of fish/shrimp. For this purpose, economically cheap but clean ice should be made available to fishermen and processors. The use of flake ice must be encouraged.
  2. Chlorinated ice is superior to ordinary use. Therefore chlorinated ice should be made available to the fishermen/producers.
  3. Installation of flake ice plant be encouraged and the use of flake ice be popularized among the fishermen/processors.
  4. Plastic fish boxes be introduced for hygienic handling and transportation of fish and shrimp.
  5. Refrigerated seawater technology be adopted for preservation of fresh fish and shrimp on board the fishing vessels.
  6. Apart from the usual shrimp products, other varieties of fish, such as Sardine and Tuna be utilized by the canning industry.
  7. Marine fisheries department be entrusted with the sole responsibility for supervising the quality control and inspection program for fish and fishery products.
  8. Compulsory quality control program be enforced to ensure quality assurance for fish and fishery products.
  9. Modern processing technology (liquid nitrogen technology) be encouraged for freezing fish and shrimp.


Pakistan’s export earnings in the fish and fish products have reached US $ 171 million in 1997-98. The importing countries which are very much quality conscious and are now developing stringent quality standards and hygienic criteria for exportable goods.  Lack of mandatory seafood inspection and quality control program in Pakistan sometimes results in selling of some detrimental products by unsavory dealers/exporters. EU is major importer of seafood products from Pakistan, however according to the regulations of European commission; the exporting countries must comply with their standards. An inspection mission of European commission visited Pakistan in December 1997 to evaluate conditions of seafood production and processing and pointed out many shortcomings especially on hygienic conditions at fish harbor and processing units and imposed a ban on sea food exports from Pakistan from July 1 this year, which lasted for over three and half months. Which gave a loss of US $ 46.3 million to the industry in value if we compared the figure with the last year period.



Action Plan


7.1 Upgradation of Existing Traditional Fleet

Boat Building, the basic input for fisheries is in a haphazard and dilapidated condition. Most of the boats are wooden, non-mechanized old and outdated. They have therefore out lived there utility. They require frequent repairing and are poor in quality. Secondly, facility such as cold storage, and chilling on board are missing, which are responsible for lot of waste. Third our boats are devoid of equipment such as echo sounders and fish finders and modern technology is missing. Which is used on aluminum or fiber glass boats. Fourth, the lack of education and training among the boat builders have made the matters worse.


If un-explored fisheries resources are to be exploited, existing fleet needs up-gradation. There is a very strong case for a boat with necessary gadgets such as wheelhouse equipment, fish finders, net haulers and drums gantry and tillable. The industry is hampered by lack of power and high material cost. Manpower needs to be educated and trained in use of sophisticated equipment. Solutions to these problems include tax free imports and local manufacturing of fishing equipment, pilot schemes to assist progressive boat owners and fishermen to begin using new techniques and setting up of fishermen’s training center.


Boats need refrigeration facilities on board to keep the catch according to the required standardization, so that it can fetch the higher prices. There is a great need of fiber glass boats and development of ancillary industries such as manufacturing of nets, hooks, floats, ropes etc. if boats are equipped with such facilities earning could double or go up three times and export to neighboring countries and Africa could rise significantly.


There is a need to improve construction methods and quality of wooden hull boats constructed at Karachi boat yard. Presently boats are being manufactured in the unorganized sector mostly manually. Therefore, there is a need to establish boat-making industry in the organized sector so that quality boats could be built.  Besides improving the manufacturing of wooden hulls pilot scale manufacturing of fiberglass boats should must begin, as is being done elsewhere in the world because wood is becoming more and more expensive.


Aside from Karachi there is also a need of boat repairing facilities at other fishing centers such as Pasni and Gawader. Government should assist fishermen in meeting the high cost of procuring gear. Benefits of electronic fishing aid must be propagated. There is need for more extension services in order to popularize new fishing methods among fishermen who are sometimes conservative in adopting new methods and to modernize the fleet.


There is no modern plant manufacturing fish nets on scientific lines. Fishermen make nets manually but these are of inferior quality. The basic raw material is namely synthetic fiber is both made locally as well as imported. Thus net manufacturing should be undertaken in the organized sector.


7.2 Improving Post Harvesting Methods

Right from the catch, the post-harvesting period starts. After the catch, fish is stored in fish hold in the plastic crates, which is totally lacking. Where ice is placed but there are no freezing facilities. After a week or so, the fish is brought on the harbor where it is placed on the floor of the jetty. Sometimes fish is thrown from the boat, which affects its quality. Then it is taken to processing units for export. The wholesaler purchases it for local sale who dispatches it to different cities but the fish is not properly handled. More important factor is the absence of refrigerated transport and freezing facilities.


Inferior quality shrimp is priced 20 to 30% lower in the international market then high quality shrimp of the same size.

According to the industry sources after following the right handling procedures

  • White shrimp price can go from US$12 to $14
  • The price of brown and pink shrimp can go up from $7.5 to $10( about 30% to 40% increase)
  • The price of PUD can go to minimum $2.5 from $1.5.


There are four principle factors resulting in low quality.

1 Handling, processing and packing do not confirm to international standards.

2 microbiological criterion for frozen shrimp is not maintained.

3 Freshness is not ensured.

4 Size separation is not correct.

Quality control through an effective plant inspection program is the only way for increasing export earnings.


7.3 Infrastructure Development including harbors

Fish harbors equipped with necessary logistics and support are essential for the growth of marine fisheries sector. In order to develop fisheries on commercial lines it is necessary that harbors are available at or near major fishing centers. New harbors at Korangi, Gawader and Pasni constructed with the help of Asian Development Bank can go a long way in the infrastructure development of this sector. There is a need for greater utilization of these harbors constructed at a huge cost. At present fishermen are not utilizing the new harbors to optimum capacity for want of other necessary infrastructure such as power. Full utilization of harbors could only be ensured if there were adequate power supply and road network.


The sanitary and hygienic conditions at fish harbors particularly at Karachi need to be maintained as per international standards so that seafood export from Pakistan may not be effected.


As pointed out power and road are the most important ingredients of infrastructure, the lack of which is retarding the utilization of new fish harbors. In addition there is need of ice factories, cold storage for the preservation of fish catch, a lot of which is wasted due to lack of proper facilities near the harbors. Refrigerated transport is missing which is causing damage to fish during transportation particularly during hot summer of the sea coast. At present fish is transported in trucks with a piece of cloth cover.


7.4 Actions to be taken

7.4.1 Fish Hold: To control post harvest losses, Fish holds will be insulated with Fiberglass initially in 1000 existing fishing vessels. The fish holds currently in use are all made of wooden or galvanized steel and the insulation is of thermopole sheets, which starts catching rust after some time of installation or use, that in turn contaminate the fish/ice/water, as it comes in to contact with. By installing fish holds of fiberglass the quality of fish stored in the fish hold will improve multi-fold. Insulation will be provided by polyurethane. Insulation properties of polyurethane are far superior to those of thermopole. In addition polyurethane also has buoyant properties, which are of great value to boats and crafts while they are out in the sea. The better the insulation of the fish hold, the less energy will be expended to cool/maintain the temperature inside the fishing hold, which in return will save money in the form of fuel/ ice and less wear & tear of the machinery in use.


7.4.2 On board Chilling System: The fish hold with chilling system will be introduced initially in 1000 existing boats. By installing the chilling system in the fish hold the fish products will be kept at a low temperature. The chilling system eliminates the influence of the heat penetrating from the outside, and that saves the ice solely for chilling of the fish. In this way by installing a chilling system can reduce the ice consumption on board. This means a considerable saving of expensive ice and less ice to be transported in the fishing boats.


7.4.3 Plastic Crates: made of fiberglass to store the catch in the fish hold and at the harbor will be mandatory for every fishing vessel. About 600,000 crates will be required for 3000 fishing vessels.


7.4.4 Navigational Equipment: As it has been explained earlier, due to no use of technology, fifty percent of the total voyage time is wasted in finding the fish. New Package of mechanical equipment of Fish finders, Echo sounders, GPS and communication system will be introduced in initially 1000 fishing boats. These equipment and devices are important tools, which ensure very safe and accurate navigation.


7.4.5 Fish Flow System: As it has been explained at present, there is no any system, which can assure the hygienic flow of the fish after Un-loading at the jetty. To- day it becomes more and more deteriorate as it crosses different stages of sorting, grading, icing and weighing.  New flow system (as enclosed) of the movement of fish from the boat to processing unit or market suggested by the SMEDA, will be brought in action.


7.4.6 Information System: At present there is no any authentic record of daily landings of different categories of fish regarding their catch, weight, prices etc. Computer based information system for Pre-Auction procedures of sorting different types of species, Grading, weighing and re-icing and the system for the activities done after the auction like keeping database for bidding, pricing, commission, fees, issuing slips and bank deposits etc. will be introduced.


7.4.7 Flake ice plants: At present the chilling of the catch is done by the block ice. After the catch the cut or chopped block ice is applied to preserve the catch on board, which damage the skin of the fish. That reduces the fish price due to the appearance and more important give access for bacteria contained in the blood and slime to enter into the flesh of the fish, which is entirely against the EU standards. The average ice block size is 80 kg and the usage per trip in the large boats is about 350 to 400 blocks of ice. The price per block is about RS. 120. Flake ice is the best solution of this problem. It is produced in the small pieces without sharp edges. The smaller pieces ensure a good contact with the fish resulting in a fast chilling rate. As the pieces are without edges, the ice will not gives bruising and tearing of the fish skin. Investment in the Flake ice plants will be done through the private sector. For the ice requirement of about 300 tonnes per day, ten flake ice plants will be required to meet the need of the whole industry.


7.4.8 Peeling sheds: The most critical need of the industry is the peeling sheds. At present it is in the haphazard condition. As the Land allocation issue for the peeling sheds has been resolved between the FCS and KFHA. Loaning for initially ten peeling sheds of at-least 1000 sq.-yard of each, will soon be started for the private sector with the help of banks.


7.4.9 Water Desalination Plant: At present the water supply to the Karachi fish harbor is from the KWSB. Which is at very low pressured and quiet insufficient to fulfill the need of industry of about two million gallons per day. Lack of the adequate water supply causes the sanitation problems, which is of major concern for our exporters. To fulfill the two million gallons per day water requirement of the industry according to the EU standardization, water desalination plant will be operationalize on BOOT basis. SMEDA’s engineering team is currently working on the feasibility of this project and will be finalized soon.


7.5 Financial Package according to SMEDA’s programs

To successfully meet the export targets according to its potential the industry requires many improvements in the Harbor management, in the fleet to control the post harvest losses and in the services and supplies like Flake ice machines, Desalination plant, peeling sheds etc. All the calculations pertaining to these requirements have been workout and the financial package (as enclosed) to meet the whole requirements including the working capital has been prepared.

At present our team is working on the credit formula to fairly disperse the loans, with the help of banks. Very soon the loaning will be start in this sector.





7.6 Board Restructuring

After identifying the key problems in the Fisheries sector by the research team of SMEDA and having a long discussions with the industry, at every step of the Value chain of Industry right from Harvesting to the Marketing, it has been decided with the mutual consent of the SMEDA team and the Industry that to keep the harbor neat and clean from corruption and for the smooth development of the fishery sector according to the strategy developed by the SMEDA, there should be a very dedicated management in which every stakeholder should have an opportunity to participate. So it has been decided that  Korangi (FH), KFH & FCS  will be working under one  Chairman. The Chairman or CEO is a Commodore SI (M) of Pakistan Navy, who has been Deputed by the Ministry of Defense. Two Chief Operating officers (COOs) for each harbor, will be appoint by the Board and will report to Chairman. The Other Directors of the Board will be from the Industry and the Government. At Present the Board consist of fifteen members. Seven Fishermen and Eight from Government. After restructuring all the Government nominees will be replaced. In the new government nominees there will be a boat owner,  processor, Sect. Fisheries (Prov. Govt.), Dir. Gen. (MFD), nominee of SEMDA & EPB and One nominee will be from Banking sector.


7.7 Role of the Board

Our research came-out with four core issues regarding the management of Fleet, management of Harbor, Management of Auction and the Fishermen’s Welfare. The new board will be entirely responsible to encounter these issues as it is explained in the Role of the board and the chairman.


7.7.1 Management of Fleet

  1. Regulatory: Trawler improvement program with Insulated Hold/Chilling and Plastic Crates will be mandatory as per EU Standards.
  2. Communication Program
  3. Enforcing Licensing Regulations
  4. Introducing new Trawlers/Technology
  5. Training/ Manpower Management
  6. All other needed Regulations




7.7.2 Management of Harbor

  1. Harbor Improvement:


(a). Water Desalination

(b). Un-loading Equipment: (Hoists Trolleys, Crates, Washing Equip etc.

(C). Flake Ice:                        Manufacturing and Delivery System—- by Private Sector.

(d).  Reception Hall:          

Washing/ Hose pipes/ grading & weighing equipment.   

Washing Tables—— by Private Sector.


  1. Estate Management:

Leases, Roads, Sanitation etc.

  1. Operation Management:

Development of Manuals and enforcing operating procedures for all aspects of harbor Operations.

  1. Control Tower: Communication System
  2. All other Regulations.


7.7.3 Management of Auction

  1. Implement new suggested process flow system from Un-loading to Transportation to the processing units.
  2. Develop and Implement Pre-Auction Computer based information System.

(For sorting different types of species, Grading, weighing and re-icing)

  1. Develop and Implement Final Auction Computer based information System.

(For Bidding, prices, Commissions, Fees, issuing slips, Bank Deposits etc.)

  1. All other needed Regulations at this stage.


7.7.4 Management of Fishermen’s Welfare and Environmental Concerns

  1. Health
  2. Education
  3. Housing
  4. Introducing environment friendly technology and arranging training programs.




  1. Next Phase of the Strategy


8.1 Development of Gawadar and Pasni Fish Harbors

Compared to Sindh, Baluchistan has a longer coastline, offering fish resources on a larger coast. The quantity of fish landed in Baluchistan by the fishing fleet however is less than that of Sindh. This is attributed to the lack of infrastructure and basic marketing facilities, which has limited the expansion of marketing outlets to major consuming centers.


Gawadar is situated at about 290 miles west of Karachi on the Baluchistan coast. About 23 percent of total fish catch of the country is obtained from the Baluchistan coast. The share of Gawadar is 37 percent of total fish catch on Baluchistan coast.  Gawadar is a district town and is served by daily flights to Karachi and by weekly flights to Oman (Muscat) by PIA. A considerable amount of fish is wasted here due to the lack of processing or freezing facilities. This is the reason that all the export is through Karachi. Fish catch of Pasni and Gawadar is brought to Karachi for exports. This is in the first priorities of SMEDA to develop these harbors.


8.2 Development of Coastal-Aquaculture

So far harvesting of natural stocks is being done without any management measures and replenishment program. The annual stocks are limited and not sustainable under such circumstances. Fishing in Pakistan is an open access fishery. To supplement the production, coastal acquaculture of much sought after species of shrimp and finfish should be undertaken. In south East Asian counties the bulk of the shrimp production is now coming from aquaculture farms. But in Pakistan no real efforts have been made in this direction.


Shrimp is one of the most valuable among different categories of fish. Therefore, its demand, both domestic and foreign, is rising rapidly. On the other hand, its supply is not keeping pace with the demand. There has been an overexploitation of shrimp along the coast resulting in depressed catches. This trend confirms that the present catches are at or near the maximum sustainable yield. Further exploitation of Shrimp resources by using modern techniques would merely accelerate depletion resulting in decreased commercial yield.


In view of above backdrop, shrimp aquaculture, has recently assumed importance and can emerge as a new agricultural activity. It would generate a new income source for our farmers. Shrimp is not only a potential source of Foreign exchange but also protein for human consumption. India is exporting about 30,000 tonnes annually and getting double its capacity every year by developing coastal aquaculture throughout the country. Similarly, shrimp aquaculture can be undertaken in Pakistan on large scale in order to raise domestic availability that is negligible and foreign exchange earnings through exports.


8.3 Development of Inland Fish farming by emphasizing on Intensive Farming Methods


Inland Fish Farming

Pakistan has inland water resources like rivers, ponds, lakes, dams, and water logged areas, which provide ground for fishery development. The inland catch during 1997 was 167,530 tonnes, which is about 28% of the total catch. Of the inland catch, the major share is that of Sindh with (57%), followed by the Punjab (39%), NWFP and the other areas (4%).


The share of Fish farm in In-land fish production is less than 20% because of lack of information to farmers on technology. The total number of Farms is around 7,000 of which 4069(58%) are in Punjab, 2348 (33%) in Sindh, 391 in NWFP, and 92 in other areas of Pakistan. Existing farming methods are not developed because of various problems stretching from production to marketing. Farmers have very little information with regard to the requirements of feed, medicine, seed, etc. Marketing and storage pose serious problems. Hygiene is not maintained and proper freezing facilities are missing.


One reason why people have not invested in fish farming is because of low yield. Although not much capital is required, but there is a need of continuous supervision throughout the year for giving proper feed, medicines, water, etc.


In Pakistan there has been emphasis on extensive farming and that is why fish farming has not developed. Instead there is a need for intensive farming where Land is properly utilized and great attention is paid towards feed, seed, water etc. for higher yield per acre.

SMEDA team has started work in these directions and will come-out with the strategy in a very short span of time.









  • List of Contacts


  1. Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock,

Government of Pakistan

Pak Secretariat Block ‘B’

Islamabad, Pakistan


Tel:  51- 9203307

51- 9210351

      Fax:  51 – 9221246          



  1. Marine Fisheries Department (MFD)

Government of Pakistan

Mr. Moazzam Khan

Director General MFD

Fish Harbour, West Wharf Karachi.

Tel :  21- 2312923

Fax:  21- 2316539


  1. Mercantile Marine Department (MMD)

    Principle officer MMD

70/4, Timber Mart

Kiamari Karachi.

Tel : 21-2851306


  1. Maritime Security Agency (MSA)

Director General MSA

Maritime Security Building,

West Wharf Karachi.

Tel : 21- 9214618


  1. Export Promotion Bureau (EPB)

5th Floor Block A, Finance & Trade Centre

Shahra-e-Faisal Karachi.

Tel : 21- 9202718


  1. Small & Medium Enterprise Development Authority(SMEDA)

Sector Head Fisheries

5th Floor Block A, Finance & Trade Centre

Shahra-e-Faisal Karachi.

Tel : 21- 9206491



  1. Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority (KFHA)

Government of Sindh

Managing Director KFHA

Fish Harbour, West Wharf Karachi.

Tel : 21-2314204


  1. Korangi Fisheries Harbour Authority

Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock

Government of Pakistan

Managing Director

Kprangi fish Harbour, Chashma Goth, Landhi.

Tel : 21-5016719


  1. Pasni Fish Harbour

Director General Pasni Fish Harbour

Pasni, Balochistan

Tel: 0863- 210212


  1. Gawadar Fish Harbour

Director General Gawadar Fish Harbour

Gawadar, Balochistan


  1. Fisheries Department

Government of NWFP

Shami Road, Peshawar


  1. Fisheries Department

Government of Punjab

2- Sanda Road Lahore

Tel: 42- 7321172


  1. Fisheries Department

Government of Sindh

Block- 50, Pakistan Secretariat,

Saddar, Karachi.

Tel : 21-9203314


  1. Fisheries Department

Government of Boalochistan


Tel: 0863- 210212






List of fishery Related Industry and Associations


  1. Fishermen’s Co-operative Society (FCS)

Chairman FCS

Fish Harbour, West Wharf Karachi.

Tel : 21-2310315, 2313139



  1. Pakistan Sea Food Industries Association


C-6, Fish Harbour, West Wharf Karachi.

Tel : 21- 2313601-2


  1. Pakistan Sea Food Industries Association


M/s. long Wharf Seafoods (Pvt) Limited

B-3, Fish Harbour, West Wharf Karachi.

Tel : 21-2313010



  1. Sindh Trawlers Owners & Fishermen Association

213, Askary Building, Fish Harbour

West Wharf, Karachi.

Tel : 21- 2132644



  1. Karachi Fishing Boat and Trawler Owners Group

Mole No. 33, Fish Harbour, West Wharf, Karachi.

Tel: 21-201855, 201259


  1. Mole Holder Association
  2. Ismail & Company

Fish Harbour, West Wharf Karachi.

Tel : 21- 201776



Fishery Related Research & Educational Institutes


  1. National Institute of Oceanography (NIO)

Director General NIO

ST-47, Block- 1, Clifton, Karachi.

Tel : 21-5860028-30





  1. Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology


Department of Botany

University of Karchi

Tel : 21-470572 – 479001




(Some international Fisheries Organizations/Groups)


  1. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Chief FAO

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00100 Rome, Italy

web. site : www. Fao. Org


  1. The Marine Product & Development Authority, India

MPEDA house, Panampilly Avenue, Panampilly Nagar, Cochin.

Tel : 91-484-311979, E-mail:



  1. Infofish

P O Box 10899

50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel : (603) 2914466  Fax: (603) 2916804




  1. East Fish

P O Box 0896, UN Centre, Medtermolen 3, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

Tel : (45) 35467180



  1. Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives, Thailand

Department of Fisheries

Ratchadamnern Nok


Tel: (66-2) 282-4513

Fax: (66-2) 280-1502







  1. Department of Fisheries, Malaysia

Wisma Tani, Jalan Sultan

Salahuddin 50028, Kaula Limpur

Tel : 03-298-2011

Fax: 2910305



  1. Ministry of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, Sri Lanka

Maligawatte Secretariat

Colombo 10

Tel : 546183



  1. Cabin Plant International A/S

Roesbjergvej 9, DK-5683 Haarby

Tel : 45 63 73 20 20

Fax: 45 63 73 20 00



  1. China International Fisheries Corp.

31 Minfeng Lane, Xidan, Beijing, China.

Tel: 86-10-66081039, Fax: 86-10-66011021


  1. Swede Fishery Group

ICH Trading AB, Vastmannagatan 9, SE-111

24 Stockholm, Sweden

Tel: 46 8 20 81 90 Fax: 46 8 20 81 11

Web site:





  • Biblography


  • Processing feasabilitiy


  • Boat/catch Movement Plan + Sketch of New receiving Halls


  • Specifications of A Model Boat


  • Report on Auction System and Recommendations


  • Report on trash Fish Processes



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