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According to WWF, 90 percent of the seafood eaten in Pakistan is polluted.

According to The News, which cited a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) official, 90 percent of the fish consumed in the nation is tainted, putrefied, and unfit for human consumption.

The evaluation was presented during a seminar titled “Blue Economy: An Avenue for Development in Pakistan” hosted at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs by Muhammad Moazzam Khan, former director general of the marine fisheries department and technical adviser on marine fisheries for WWF.

Khan maintained that a significant portion of the fish sold in stores and on street vendors’ carts was unfit for human consumption. The seminar’s presenters discussed a range of topics, including Pakistan’s blue economy, difficulties it encounters, problems with marine fishing, and the socioeconomic advancement of coastal areas.

Fish are a particularly fragile protein source and putrefy extremely fast if not immediately cooled or frozen, according to Khan. “Fish are often kept at room temperature, though they may sometimes be kept at temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

Vendors sprinkle water on the fish to keep them looking fresh and prevent decomposition. But people continue to buy them despite the fact that they are already unfit for ingestion, which causes illness.

To keep fish from spoiling, he advised storing it between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius. The WWF delegate said that only 10% of Pakistan’s produce was exported, and the remainder was deteriorated or harmed because most boats lacked adequate deep freezers and other storage options for the catch.

He said that although the volume of seafood exports is rising, we are still falling short of our ambitious goals due to a variety of issues, such as inadequate processing facilities and lax quality controls.Khan bemoaned the fact that Pakistan’s fisheries industry was still totally unregulated and that the size of the fleet had grown uncontrollably much.

According to a survey conducted in 2016, the total fleet size consisted of 11,500 vessels, but it was now projected to have exceeded 20,000. In order to conserve the fish resource, he added, the fleet size needed to be reduced to 5,000 to 6,000 vessels.

Vice Admiral (retired) Asif Humayun outlined Pakistan’s new frontier in the blue economy. At the conclusion, he offered a plan of action for realising the full economic potential of the sea and marine resources.

There are three commercial ports in Pakistan, according to him, and Port Qasim has become the busiest, handling 52% of all cargo with an annual profit of nearly Rs90 billion.

The Karachi Port Trust had tripled its capacity, according to the retired navy officer, but because of a massive debt load and transit challenges within Karachi, its profitability had stagnated. Gwadar is a port for the future, according to Humayun, who also noted that although it handled fewer than 80,000 tonnes of cargo annually, it had a significant amount of potential for transshipment, bunkering, ship maintenance, and other amenities.

The country’s ports, according to the former vice admiral, were comparatively inefficient due to delayed cargo handling and hefty tariffs. He requested that the maritime affairs division look into and address these problems so that the ports could draw in more transshipment cargo and transit traffic.

He claimed that all Central Asian republics have expressed a willingness to utilise Pakistani ports for cargo transit and transshipment following the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan.