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Pakistan: Life and livelihood: Fisherman turned needle maker July 22,2020   |  Source: The International News

Mumtaz Shaikh, a small fishing boat owner in Rehri Mayan, one of the largest fishermen localities in Karachi, is among many people, who have left his profession and shifted to another source of income. “I sold my boat eight years back after realising that fishing was no more a profitable source of income for my family,” he said. “Since then, I, being a mechanic continued different technical jobs, including making hard netting needles (locally known as Torr), which are used in fishing net weaving and repairing.” Justifying the decision, he said, “It was the consensus of the entire family, including my young sons, to avoid losses and sell the boat. We utilised the money to build a shelter, where we now live safely.” Besides making netting needles, he weaves fishing nets as well for both small and large fishing boats, he shared. Shaikh has learned multiple skills, including mechanical work, net and boat engine repair work, and tool-making for fish net mending.

He uses wood, plastic and copper for making seven-eight net needles. He sells each netting needle at Rs120-Rs150 and earns Rs1,000-Rs1,500/day. Though made-in China plastic netting needles are available in the market at cheaper prices, fishermen prefer to buy locally made items, which they believe are

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)