KARACHI - World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF–P) under its Marine Programme organised a three-day workshop at a local hotel in Karachi. The event was attended by national and international participants from different organisations and government departments. Speaking on the occasion, WWF-P Senior Director Dr Ejaz Ahmad said that Pakistan coastal area was rich in having diverse marine resources including species, ecosystems and communities. He said that it was high time to conserve these resources and manage them efficiently. He emphasised that we should adopt standard practices which are used by other countries. “We should coordinate with neighboring countries and form an alliance with them,” he added. He said that consultations are in process for coming up a future strategy.Sindh WWF-P Director Rab Nawaz pointed out that freshwater resources are very limited all over the world and gave three rationales for ocean conservation such as biodiversity values, human use values and growing threats and growing human footprint. Shaukat Hussain, Director General Marine Fisheries Department, said that fisheries contribute one per cent to GDP of the country. He also said that government was taking efforts to stop destructive fishing gear and focusing on promotion of aquaculture. He further said that government is also taking measures for training of the stakeholders. He said that limited raw material, decline in fish catch and uncontrolled fleet size are major problems in fish export. Paul Fanning, Chief Technical Advisor, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that presently there are more than 2000 trawlers. He also said trawl fishing is mostly with illegal small mesh sized nets. He also mentioned that excessive fishing effort has led to over-exploitation of fish resources. He also said that shrimp is now a by-catch in trash fishery. He mentioned that law and order situation is the major impediment for new investment.Meher Marker Noshirwani Technical Advisor from TCCR said that coastal communities were vulnerable to effects of climate change and were devoid of basic amenities of life. She said that main issue confronting these people was lack of water and they had no alternate source of income. She said that coastal communities were one of the poorest communities in Pakistan and livelihood resources are under threat of depletion. She also said that 71 per cent of marine resources belong to Sindh. She said that engaging media could play pivotal role in formulating advocacy strategy. Faisal Iftikhar CEO of Fisheries Development Board, said that Pakistan is the only country in the world where fishing is done entire year. He said that trash fishing is the primary source of fishing in Pakistan. He further said that every fishing vessel brings 80 kg trash fish. Fisheries exporters have developed the fishing fleet to their advantage. He further said that awareness should be raised for conservation of marine resources among coastal communities.