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Can Pakistan Boost Its Tuna Catches? Pakistan, January 14, 13

Pakistan’s tuna exports could gain more prominence in the international market if proper handling and management are done, said industry stakeholders at a recent workshop that aimed to improve post-harvest practices for tuna longline fisheries.
Currently, Pakistan exports 40,000 tons of tuna annually and participants at the workshop believed this volume could be increased significantly with a few changes. Specifically, the issue of spoiled catches due to extended fishing trips (exceeding 25 days) is a problem, in addition to catches that are wasted at landing and auction sites because they are not sold quick enough, and because there are not sufficient icing and freezing facilities available.
Pakistan is also looking to introduce longlining in tuna fisheries, and it’s thought 5-10 local trawlers can be converted as an example. New fiber-glass fishing boats will also be encouraged to adopt the tuna longlining method instead of trawling. Now most tuna is still caught with the use of driftnets.
The workshop was organized by the Pakistan government in collaboration with the the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) and Infofish. It was attended by all relevant stakeholders including fish processors, boat owners and members of the federal and provincial fisheries departments. Similar meetings have been held in Sri Lanka, Iran, India and Maldives.
The main area of interest in the workshops were onboard handling of fish, quality, safety, analytical methods, traceability/certification and document, training in IOTC IUU compliance, market diversification, waste utilization, by-catch utilization, conversions of trawlers to long liners, training, capacity building at MFD and canned tuna product diversification.