KARACHI - With other world organisations, representing small scale fishermen, the representative organisation of the fishermen community contributed suggestions on rights to food on fisheries and food security, which will be presented to the 67th Session of UN General Assembly in New York on October 30.Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) in its statement issued here on Thursday said that fishermen’s organisations designed a report through organising community workshops and mentioned consents of all stakeholders in the light of findings, which has been submitted to the UN. The purpose of preparing report was to introduce the ‘code of conduct for responsible fisheries’, in addition to the ‘voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security’. The report makes a very strong case for small-scale fisheries, and some excellent recommendations, demanding states to respect the existing rights of artisanal and small-scale fishing communities.According to the statement, Mohammed Ali Shah, Chairperson of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) reaffirmed PFF demand to implement the recommendations, designed by the UN Rapporture, specifically focusing on the issues of small scale fisheries. It further asks states to involve local fishing communities in the design, implementation and assessment of the fisheries policies and interventions affecting them, in accordance with human rights norms and standards and article 10.1.2 of the code of conduct for responsible fisheries, and establish grievance mechanisms allowing them to protect the rights that may be affected by such policies and interventions.Earlier, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum recommended in the light of its findings that fishermen are real custodians of natural resources like the sea, lakes and wetlands, demanding to respect their rights to these natural resources. Shah also demanded the government to ensure community representation while designing national policies and procedures related to fisheries.The PFF also highlighted the role of fisherwomen and urged upon the government to initiate special programmes for the young community girls so they may have alternative source of income, as presently due to commercialisation in the fishing sector hundreds of womenfolk in coastal localities are sitting idle at homes.The further demands made by PFF include abolishing contract system on marine and inland waters, stopping issuance of licenses to factory trawlers and impose ban on use of destructive nets to save the fish stock, considering these are assets for the future generations. The UN draft also demanded the states to refrain from taking measures, including large-scale development projects, that may adversely affect the livelihoods of inland and marine small-scale fishers, their territories or access rights, unless their free, prior and informed consent is obtained, and ensure that courts protect such rights; and conduct ex-ante assessments of extractive industry projects, such as sand extraction, operated by private entities in order to evaluate the possible negative human rights impacts on local fishing communities.The UN report strongly supports the development of international guidelines on small-scale fisheries (IG-SSF) and the active participation of fishing communities in the process.The PFF expressed the hope that it will be useful perhaps for all small-scale fisheries organisations to make use of this occasion to highlight the report and its recommendations to the government, local media and other concerned institutions.