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Pakistan: Fishing communities of Sindh forced into destructive practices by Muhammad Abbas Khaskheli September 16,2020   |  Source: Dawn

A father and son emptied their fishing nets. They had set them up the previous night in the Mir-Wah canal near Seerani, a small rural settlement about 18 kilometres south of the city of Badin, in Sindh. Their catch was entirely made up of “trash fish”: very small fish. They would earn about Rs300 ($ 1.80) for this. “We have hardly seen any big fish during the past 10-15 years in these inland water bodies, but we have to do this for the survival of our empty-stomached families. Who cares if it is prohibited or bad practice?” said the 36-year-old father. Abubakar Shaikh is an environmental researcher who has carried out several studies for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. He said, “In June and July, the seeds [juvenile fish] of more than 17 species reach the freshwater bodies of Sindh’s coastal belt, but the majority of that is hunted by fishermen.”

Sindh’s coastline contains 71 per cent of Pakistan’s fisheries resources — which includes the Arabian Sea, estuaries and inland lakes. Around 400,000 people in the province depend directly on the sector; the majority of them in the district of Badin. But natural disasters like cyclones and water shortages mean its people now live in one of the water-starved districts of Sindh. In response,

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