Tag Archives: fisherman

PM Imran, Ali Zaidi discussed providing easy loans to fishermen – Pakistan | Instant News

Published in November 30, 2020 14:45

Maritime Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi summoned Prime Minister Imran Khan.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi summoned Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Monday and briefed him on the overall port situation.

Imran Khan and Ali Haider Zaidi discuss providing easy loans to fishermen and the Karachi situation. The Prime Minister is directed to take all possible steps for the financial assistance and prosperity of the fishermen.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan, speaking to top economist Shahid Kardar, said returning looted money to the country was one of the government’s top priorities.

Imran Khan noted the illegal flow of money from poor countries was the basic reason for their underdevelopment and poverty. They also discussed the overall economic situation and measures to check money laundering.


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Fishermen fear the islands will rush to leave them high & dry | Instant News

HYDERABAD: The livelihoods of the fishermen, who live along the coast of Karachi, Sindh, are likely to find themselves stranded due to the development of loosely regulated housing communities on the nearby islets, where they operate.

Muhammad Hassan Birwani, a fisherman from Ibrahim Hydri, the largest fishing area in Karachi, remembers the past saying he was very young when he started going to nearby islands, including Dingi and Bhandar near the Phitti and Korangi rivers with the elders in small boats. .

Since then he still went there in his boat to catch. They have a traditional fishing technique known locally as “lathe jo ban or ban jali”. Special nets are required in this method for towing and trawling. Thus, this small boat does not need to travel far to the high seas for fishing.

In this practice, fishermen form two groups consisting of five or six groups. One group remained on the boat, while the others took up positions on the island to pull a wide net toward them. It took them two or three hours to complete their catch. On their way back to the landing site, they sort the catch for the market.

Fishermen say certain islands and streams have the potential to catch fish. Whenever they face restrictions, such as weather-related fishing bans, they move their boats to these islands to meet the needs of both.

There are about thirty fishing vessels in the area each carrying 15-16 crew. These small-scale fishermen follow the phases of the moon, looking for natural tides to leave their jetty to catch fish. There is no definite timing for this type of fishing, as it depends on the tides, which they are always monitoring. Once they find them profitable, they go out to sea, sometimes in the morning, and at other times in the afternoon or evening, depending on the situation.

This ship catches all fish species available in the area, including shrimp and crab. Each worker on board can earn Rs1200-1500 daily through this particular fishing method within two – three hours.

Elderly fishermen have fond memories of the past and the changes they witnessed during their 50-60 year career. Apart from the people who use these “ban jali”, several other boats also travel to the islands to stay there briefly to wash nets and other equipment. Otherwise, these islands are uninhabited. However, because of the beautiful scenery, they sometimes attract picnics.

Birwani owns a small boat, which he operates for routine trips. He was aware of new developments on the islands. “We are always challenged on trips to the islands by personnel from certain coastal agencies. But we always choose to compromise and continue to chase our catch because our family needs it to survive, “he said. Commenting on this specific fishing method, Akhtar Shaikh, a community activist and trader, dealing with the seafood business at the pier, said, “Some people have taken this technique to a higher level because now they are using two boats to tow and trawl. where the crew drags the net over the boat, instead of doing it from the island ”.

But the majority of people still use traditional methods of trawling and trawling, which they think are easy to fish, Shaikh said. He said there were also several other island villages off the Karachi coast, including Khahi, Khudi and Paityani, inhabited by a small number of families, living there for generations.

“These places are covered by mangroves all around, providing storm protection for the people who live there.” This island family also uses the same technique to catch fish, which they sell to traders, coming to them every day. Entire families including women and children work to contribute to their survival.

Talking about the twin islands, Dingi and Bhandar, which are located near the famous tributaries of Phiti and Korani, he said, “Both places are considered potential fishing grounds and a small number of people nett their livelihoods from these waters.

There are small patches of mangroves near the islands, but they are uninhabited. There are about 74 islands named by the community. If not, there may be more small and large islands along the Sindh coast, which are spread over some 350 kilometers. Asif Bhatti from the Native Indigenous Fishermen Association (NIFA) from Pulau Bhit, Keamari, said that the development of the island city is bad news for the future of the fishing community.

Nifa represents residents living in the well-known island villages of Baba, Bhit, Salehabad, Manora, and Shamspir near Keamari, the Karachi coast, which is home to mostly fishermen, living there long before the development of the metropolitan city.

“Once the island cities develop, investors may need more land for expansion and they may push all of us out of our homes to reach their targets,” fears Bhatti. “We are afraid to see that we may be relocated and may have to leave our settlements sooner or later. “There is no clear statement in the notification to release the island village,” he said.

When interviewing elderly fishermen, it was found that they only wanted guarantees of livelihood protection. They fear that their traditional routes to potential fishing areas near tributaries and the high seas will be impeded by this development.

Many elderly fishermen have seen the development of Karachi and claim that their ancestors contributed greatly to building the city. Ayoub Shan, who works to promote education among coastal community girls, said, “The majority of fishermen lead a simple life centered on livelihoods. They avoid involvement in socio-political activities ”.

“Poverty and unconsciousness in society can be measured by the fact that many Ibrahim Hydri people never travel to urban areas, not even for pleasure or entertainment.”

Shan said uncertainty has always loomed over them in the form of ups and downs of weather, rain and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which is causing a lot of trouble for fishermen. “They do not realize their rights or take away the fishing area, which they rely on, even though they are natural custodians of these resources,” he said.

He said climate change had made coastal communities vulnerable to disasters and this man-made development may prove to be the final nail in the coffin. “Mangroves, a natural shield from disasters like cyclones, can be destroyed in the name of development. If that happens, it will not only deprive fishermen of their livelihoods, but also leave residents along the coast and in cities vulnerable to heat waves and disasters, ”he said. Shan urged the government to step in and examine the uncontrolled and planned urbanization of these islands, off the coast of Karachi, in the hands of money-minded builders and developers.


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Italian fishermen become pawns in Libya’s domestic conflict | Europe | Latest news and events from all continents | DW | Instant News

On the fishing wharf in Mazara del Vallo, a town in western Sicily, people do their daily chores. Some prepared nets, some repaired cold storage rooms on ships, while others dealt with mechanical problems. It’s business as usual here, even though the atmosphere has been gripping for a few weeks now.

“Had my boat not been stuck at the dock due to engine failure, I would have been there on the day they were arrested,” said Vincenzo De Santis, the ship’s captain. Eighteen fellow fishermen – eight Italians, six Tunisian, two Indonesians and two Senegalese – were arrested by Libyan Coast Guard on September 1 while sailing in international waters.

Vincenzo (right) and Salvatore De Santis on their boat

In 2005, Moammar Gaddafi, who later became the leader of Libya, unilaterally expanded the country’s territorial waters from 12 to 74 nautical miles offshore – an area rich in prized red shrimp. Fishing boats from Mazara del Vallo have been involved in several of these incidents since then. This time, four ships were stopped, two of which managed to escape.

“Nothing is worth fishing before those waters,” said De Santis. “When I was 35 miles away from Benghazi, I knew that I met the law. What should I tell my crew when we go there? That we are going to fish in Libya?”

Troubled and contested waters

One of the crew is Tarno, who – like Giri Gunawan and Samsudin Moh, two fishermen still detained in Benghazi – are from Indonesia. Tarno started working in Italy in January and now realizes how problematic these waters are.

Reportagebilder zu Italian fisherman detained in Libya (Andrea Musicò)

Tarno and two of his compatriots detained in Libya are among the few Indonesians working on local ships

“I’ve heard this before, but now I understand, it’s scary,” said Tarno, who only speaks Indonesian and has no family in Italy. “They [Gunawan and Moh] is the only person I can really talk to when we all return from the sea. I pray for their loved ones who are in Asia and worried. “

Meanwhile, the fishing family of Mazara del Vallo has a discussion at the local town hall.

The port at Mazara del Vallo

Mazara del Vallo once had more than 300 fishing vessels, but now has about 80

“I believe the Libyans have a heart, but a frozen heart. I understand that they want to be recognized,” said Pietro Giacalone, who has not spoken to his son since the day he was detained, when a single call was allowed.

Seeking international recognition

According to many sources, General Khalifa Haftar, the head of a rival government in eastern Libya, is seeking international recognition. The fishermen were arrested on the day of the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio left Tripoli, where he had met Fayez al-Sarraj, the leader of Libya’s UN-recognized government, to discuss a ceasefire, which Haftar has not yet agreed to.

Italien 5 Sterne-Chef Di Maio (picture-alliance / Zuma / LaPresse)

Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s foreign minister

Di Maio, however, has rejected the idea that it had anything to do with his diplomatic visit.

Haftar’s reported intention is to negotiate the release of the fishermen in exchange for the four Libyan players currently jailed in Italy. They are serving up to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of smuggling displaced persons across the Mediterranean in 2015, with one crossing resulting in the deaths of 49 people.

Libya |  General Chalifa Haftar (Costas Baltas / Reuters)

General Khalifa Haftar, head of the rival Libyan government in eastern Libya

According to Libyan sources, the Italian fishing crew was also accused of drug trafficking. A leaked photo shows a yellow package on display in front of one of the confiscated boats in Benghazi. The Italian government has yet to confirm this accusation, which it believes is an attempt by Haftar to increase pressure.

Detention is unacceptable

The fishermen are reportedly scheduled to appear before a military court on Tuesday, accusing them of illegally entering Libyan waters.

“Detaining people who violate the self-proclaimed zone is unacceptable … just as it is unacceptable for someone to tell us they will release Italians if we release their citizens,” said Foreign Minister Di Maio.

“I hope my son will return soon, and in a good condition too, or that his return will make his suffering even worse,” said Giacalone, who had heard of the conditions under which fishermen detained in Libya in the past.

Reportagebilder zu Italian fisherman detained in Libya (Andrea Musicò)

Pietro Giacalone is a fisherman like his son Fabio, who is still being held in Benghazi

“In the 90s, they got together with 100-150 people in the bunker room, but at least the family could call them regularly,” said Giacalone. “Now, they’re in a better facility, but we can’t talk to them. What did Fabio eat? How did he sleep? Can he shower himself?”

Who can help?

The current situation is unprecedented: In previous cases, fishermen were usually released after paying a fine.

Di Maio has asked General Haftar’s supporters, including Russia and the United Arab Emirates, to get involved in negotiations for the release of the fishermen, hoping they can exert influence.

Most fishing families blame the Italian government for not providing them with adequate information about developments. However, the political attention the case received gave some of them hope: “We don’t know anything new, but my feeling is we have to get ready to celebrate,” said Vito Gancitano, brother-in-law of one of the fishermen.

These feelings are not shared by Chaima Mathlouthi, a young Tunisian who spoke with his father, Habib, days before his arrest. “I called him while he was at sea because I needed some Tunisian documents for my university application. He told me he could return home if necessary, but I told him not to worry about that,” he said, sitting away from other families, struggled to speak Italian. “Now I wish I had sent him back.”


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Pakistan: China’s ‘involvement’ in deep sea fishing angers local fishermen | Asia | An in-depth view of news from around the continent | DW | Instant News

Several fishing organizations in Pakistan told DW that the government was planning to give Chinese companies deep sea fishing rights when several Chinese fishing trawlers arrived in the southern city of Karachi a month ago.

“About 12 Chinese trawlers have docked in the coastal area of ​​Karachi. If the authorities do not intend to grant fishing rights to Chinese companies, then with whose permission are these trawlers allowed to dock?” Muhammad Ali Shah, chairman of the Pakistan Fishermen Forum, told DW.

“We have brought this matter to court, who told the government to convince all stakeholders about this matter,” said Shah, adding that if Chinese companies get permission to fish in deep sea in Pakistan, the livelihoods of more than 2 million fishermen will be affected.

“We will continue to reject this action,” said Shah.

Read more: Pakistan: A Chinese-backed hydropower project irritates local residents, environmentalists

A fishermen’s association in the country’s western Balochistan province is also concerned about China’s alleged plans to take over the fishing industry. Beijing has invested heavily in their province under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multibillion-dollar infrastructure project.

Khudad Wajo, president of the Gwadar Fishermen’s Alliance, said China was preparing to seize Pakistani waters after “seizing” their land.

“The government doesn’t care about us. They just want to calm Beijing down,” Wajo told DW, adding that fishing organizations had planned demonstrations against China’s increasing involvement in Pakistan’s fishing sector.

Pakistan’s Sindh and Balochistan provinces have a coastal belt of approximately 1,050 kilometers (652 miles) along the Arabian Sea. The government generated $ 410 million (€ 349 million) in fiscal 2019-20 from the fisheries sector.

China’s footprint is increasing in Pakistan

The Pakistani government in July allowed a Chinese mining company to extend its work on a copper-gold mining project in the insurgency-ravaged Balochistan province. According to local media, work is restarting the Saindak copper-gold project – collaboration between Pakistan and China. The mine was initially leased for a period of 10 years to Metallurgical Corporation of China Limited, registered locally as Saindak Metals Limited (SML).

Last year, the federal government of Pakistan was under Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the creation of a National Coastal Development Authority (NCDA) for Gwadar port. The decision was strongly criticized by parties and opposition activists, who felt that the establishment of the institution could not be justified by the existence of a coastal area office that carries out a similar function.

Activists believe the decision was taken to appease China, which is pumping more than $ 62 billion into the cash-strapped Islamic republic under the CPEC program, part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Under CPEC, Beijing has invested large sums of money in infrastructure development, energy and other projects.

Read more: Gwadar – Pakistan’s impoverished colony or economic center?

China announced the CPEC project in 2015, as Beijing seeks to expand its influence in Pakistan and across Central and South Asia to counter US and Indian influence. The CPEC initiative will link Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port (626 kilometers, 389 miles west of Karachi) in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China’s western Xinjiang region. It also includes plans to create a network of roads, railways and oil to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East.

Baloch separatists, both militant and political, oppose China’s increasing footprint in the province.

Read more: Pakistan blames Iran-based separatists for the deadly Baluchistan attacks

The mystery surrounds the government’s fishing policy

So far, the government has not responded to the fishing association’s allegations about Chinese trawlers. DW contacted the office of Asif Riaz, the federal secretary at the Maritime Affairs Ministry, but he declined to comment, neither confirmed nor denied that the authorities had granted the Chinese company deep sea fishing rights.

However, a Balochistan government official told DW on condition of anonymity that China’s alleged involvement in the fishing sector had generated resentment among fishermen. “The government does not firmly deny plans to grant fishing permits to Chinese trawlers. I think that’s why there is a lot of speculation about that,” he said.

But Shah of the Fishermen’s Forum claims the permit has been granted to Chinese trawlers. “The government first advertises the tenders, then issues the permits, and only then the trawlers arrive at the port. The Chinese ships have been at anchor for more than a month. If the permits aren’t issued, why are they docked at Karachi port?” He said.

Several lawmakers have expressed concern over the situation. Mir Amer Ali Khan Magsi, chairman of the parliament’s standing committee for maritime affairs, told DW he was shocked by the news of a Chinese trawler arriving in Karachi. “We have been told by the ministry that the government has no intention of giving permission to any trawlers to operate in the deep sea because it is very destructive. [for environment]. But who allowed these trawlers to dock in Karachi? We have asked government officials to clarify, “Magsi told DW.

Read more: Pakistan: Climate change, environmental problems are keeping the government tied up

Hafiz Abdul Berr, chairman of the Fishermen Cooperative Society, alleges that the government tacitly approved fishing licenses for Chinese companies. “They’ve done it once in the past, but we sued it in court,” Berr told DW.

However, the government said that the country needed Chinese investment to boost its economy. “Chinese companies invest in Pakistan and also pay taxes, which will help our economy. If local fishermen have the capacity to fish in the deep sea, we will consider that too. If they can’t, they shouldn’t go against government policies,” Muhammad Iqbal Khan. , a member of the Pakistani parliament Tehreek-e-Insaf, told DW.

Environmentalists say that deep sea fishing should not be permitted under any circumstances. Abdul Rahim, an environmental activist living in Gwadar, believes that such a plan will damage the marine ecosystem. “It will also cause depletion of fish, shrimp and other marine life. This will damage the environment.”

Read more: Pakistani dams threaten mangroves and livelihoods


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Dingi and Bhandar – dispute landed off the coast of Karachi | Instant News


As the crew boarded the fishing boat, Raheem Jutt, 53, untied the ropes that had tethered the boat to the dock and announced that they would stop at Bhandar Island briefly to repair their fishing net.

Another fisherman laughed, “Jitna rukna hai ruk jao. Baad mein ameer log ka colony bannay wala hai apna Bhandar! [Stop as you like, but soon our Bhandar will be settled by the elite]. “

He referred to recent federal government announcements about the development of new cities in Bundal and the Buddo Islands – also known as Bhandar and Dingi Islands in the local language – off the coast of Karachi, worrying thousands of fishing communities.

“They may encroach on the whole sea, but Allah is with us and will save our children from hunger,” replied Jutt.

According to Kamal Shah of the Pakistan Fishermen’s Forum (PFF), this is the third time in the past two decades that the Center has come up with the idea of ​​establishing a city on the twin islands, spanning over 12,000 hectares – around the same area as Karachi. Defense Housing Authority.

But the project has created a ownership dispute between the Sindh government and the Qasim Port Authority at any time. Whether in 2006, 2013 or now, the provincial government has repeatedly argued that the islands belong to him.

Environmental concerns

Another controversy lies in the fact that the islands are part of the Indus Delta – sites protected under the Ramsar Convention, to which Pakistan is a signatory.

“All Ramsar sites around the world are wetlands of international importance for migratory birds,” explains ecologist Rafiul Haq. “Developing cities here will destroy coastal ecosystems and affect Pakistan’s environment and fishing industry,” he continued, pointing out that the islands are surrounded by mangroves, a breeding ground for marine life.

In addition, according to him, artificial changes to the Indus Delta that have an impact on mangrove forest protection will also make the coast of Sindh – including its financial center in Karachi – hit by storms and tsunamis.

He cited the commercial development in coastal Thailand which caused devastation by the 2004 tsunami, in contrast to Myanmar which was surrounded by mangroves, which suffered much less damage. “It’s in our hands. We can protect ourselves or continue the steps that could lead us to destruction.”

PFF chairman Muhammad Ali Shah, meanwhile, said the organization was preparing for countrywide protests against developments near the delta. “We have succeeded in protecting Bundal and Dingi in the past and we are ready to fight again,” he said. “What does the federal government want? Does it want three million people from the fishing community to starve to death?”

He added that the Center should first provide basic facilities to the Baba and Bhit Islands, home to thousands of people. “They can’t run Karachi and they’re talking about a new city?”

According to him, Bundal and Buddo are the foundation of Pakistan’s fishing industry. “The fisheries sector has been destroyed by the fishing industry. This new development will end the fishing industry, “he stressed. “The sea is our life, our culture, everything we have. They can only build cities here on our corpses.”

Who owns the island?

Federal Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi has no doubts about the project. “The land belongs to Port Qasim, which is the decision-making authority. Yes, development is being planned here, but it will be a cutting-edge project that will protect the environment, not destroy it,” he stressed. , spoke to The Express Tribune.

It was not like a housing project, he said, adding that they were aware of the community’s concerns so they would conduct an Environmental Impact Analysis and submit a proposal.

In addition, Zaidi said, they are planting more mangroves in the area and will soon double the mangrove cover.

The Sindh government, however, fiercely opposed the Center’s claims. Earlier this week, Agriculture Minister Sindh Ismail Rahoo stressed that the federal government’s dream of building new cities on the provincial coast would never come true.

“According to the Constitution, maritime areas up to 12 nautical miles from the Sindh coastline are under our jurisdiction,” he said, adding that the federation would not be allowed to occupy provincial lands and resources. Plus, he said, placing these cities on islands would destroy marine life.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Sindh Murtaza Wahab said The Express Tribune that the islands belong to Sindh. “This is against Article 172 of the Constitution. They cannot do this without the approval of the provincial government, and we will act in the best interests of the people. “

He added that the Sindh government had not seen any proposals from the Center.

‘All that we have’

As the boat stopped at Bundal, Jutt and his crew jumped into the water waist-deep, pulling the torn net over their shoulders.

The camels that roam around the island are shocking. A shrinking breed, this Kharai camel – meaning ‘salty’ – feeds on the offshore mangroves and can swim for hours in the waves that surround Bundal.

The previous conversation still weighed heavily on Jutt’s mind as she stared past the camel. “This sea, these islands are all we have. I can imagine it being a place of relaxation for the elites even when our children starve to death, ”he said. “This can’t happen. We may die, but we will die fighting for our rights.”


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