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Gwadar Fishermen Population Depends On Fishing

by Uneeb Khan
Gwadar Fishermen

Perched on a rocky outcrop on the shores of the Arabian Sea. with stunning views from a large outcrop known locally as Koe Batiris. Gwadar Fishermen Harbor. also happens to be the center of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). ). Through this project China plans to connect. one of its most neglected western provinces. the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. to Gwadar Port in Balochistan, Pakistan. He announced a $46 billion investment to create a China-Pakistan economic corridor. including energy fiber optic and industrial-based projects in Pakistan. China promises that the project will bring unprecedented economic development to both countries.

Local population depends on fishing

CPEC is a very important part of China’s larger and more ambitious “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) plan. The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s grand strategy. that aims to expand its economic reach. while connecting her three continents of Asia, Europe. and Africa by sea and rail. Gwadar, where China is building a deep-sea port. is the heart of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. What overlooked, is that about 70-80% of the Gwadar Fishermen population depends on fishing. and now they fear crushed under the weight of the main vessel in the channel. and other stakeholders. the project will not allow fishing to continue and the Gwadar wharf will closed. One of the local fishermen, Rasool Baksh, said My ancestors were fishermen like me. the development of Gwadar port is now putting it in jeopardy. The fishing industry is essential for our livelihoods.to exterminate marine life with impunity. This is a very dangerous situation.

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Get briefed on the story of the week and create a story to watch across Asia Pacific. He continued, “I often see fishing prohibited around the harbor. these days for safety reasons, in addition to construction restrictions. It have a small boat, but I go fishing in the ocean. I can’t, my boat employs seven people. which means seven families are dependent on fishing. there are hundreds of small boats like mine in Gwadar. How I will feed my family if the port is fully operational and I am allowed to use it. Can I get help or my children? Do you work in Gwadar? I often worry about this. The Pearl Continental Hotel, the only hotel of its kind. in the entire Balochistan province overlooks the beautiful Gwadar coast. from its vantage point on Koh-e-Batil. Social activist and author K.P. Falak said that whenever a symposium. conference, or important event. held at or near the Pearl Continental (sometimes not so close). the pier closed for safety reasons. said people’s movements will also restricted.

Exterminate the local population

The pier is the heart of the fishing industry. and Falak worries about how the fishermen will spend their days after the pier closed. where do they get their food from? He surprised that signs are frequently posted near the pier announcing. that it will closed for a day, sometimes longer. And sidewalk closures he only one problem. The road connecting to the port, the highway, is being built on the east bank of Gwadar. Rumor has it that the construction will exterminate the local population. Farak said another road project carried out by the Gwadar Development Board. on the West Bank will not only kill the small boat industry, but also destroy Gwadar’s natural beauty. where people enjoy the scenery and children play. says that . The real development is ‘the lives of the downtrodden. It doesn’t make them more vulnerable. But I hope the government can help those affected.’

Relocate indigenous peoples

Saeed Isa Nouri, a member of parliament for the Gwadar fishermen district told me. that he had raised the issue of Gwadar’s fishermen in the parliament in a complaint. about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, but to no avail. The government says it plans to relocate indigenous peoples, mostly hunter-gatherers. but Nouri said he had not received any concrete proposals to do so. Unfortunately, sometimes fishermen are not allowed.. to park their boats on the pier or provided space on another pier. With Pakistan’s longest coastline (600 km), Gwadar has many problems. that neither the state nor the federal government seem interested. in finding practical solution by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal. Information Minister Parvez Rasheed, was of no help. and no serious steps have taken to resolve these issues. This is very disappointing.

Fishermen’s Network

Khodad, the coordinator of the Balochistan Fishermen’s Network, told me. the government has not seen a clear plan to address the fishermen’s dilemma. He feels the government is either indecisive or stuck. He states that it is the state’s duty to give all fishermen the rights they deserve. but instead of helping citizens, the government is giving them more problems. Development is not true development unless it addressed. Khaddad calls on relevant authorities to take practical steps to end. the dangers facing fishermen. On request of anonymity, one official told me. “There is no denying the fact that fishermen are having very difficult days. not only because of the construction of the highway. but also because of the occasional closure of the pier. But , is another problem faced by trawlers.

Exterminate marine life

He explained that trawl fishing, a type of illegal fishing. that kills marine life along with its eggs, is common in the Gwadar district. Prior to 2014 regulations issued by the Fisheries Department of Balochistan. stipulated fines of at least . The amount credited to the fishing account. and employees also received their salary from this amount. in 2014, the Balochistan government amended the fisheries management regulations. They now state that all captured trawlers will seized. Officials have told me that about eight trawlers have captured and seized so far. The dilemma, is that the Fisheries Department does not appear to be serious. about dealing with illegal fishing vessels, and mysteriously allows them. to exterminate marine life with impunity.On request of anonymity, one official told me. “There is no denying the fact that fishermen are having very difficult days. not only because of the construction of the highway. but also because of the occasional closure of the pier. But , is another problem faced by trawlers.

Also read: Gwadar today

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