Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Pakistan is a country with few rivers and lakes which naturally forced its fishermen to fish on the coast which extends some 250,000 Km. along the Arabian Sea. However, the fishing industry, which originated as a cottage industry a few centuries ago, has remained very primitive in design and technology ever since. The only development has been that, in place of poor fishermen, presently richer capitalists have become the owners of the vessels. The operators are still poor and uneducated. In spite of the fact that a national legislation governing mechanically propelled vessels has been in existence since 1917 modified in 1951, the fishing vessels have continued to remain beyond the scope of this legislation, being constructed as sailing vessels and subsequently installing engines. This foul play by uneducated fishermen in ill-equipped boats has cost thousands of lives every year and the eventual loss of property. As no constructional and other safety measures have been enforced, they have remained highly hazardous vessels, particularly in the rough weather conditions of the Arabian Sea. This calls for urgent action to be taken to frame a comprehensive legislation stipulating adequate safety requirements including training and the certification of crew. Last but not least is the restructuring of the enforcement agencies; that is the maritime safety administration and the coast guard. This is all the more important because the Law of the Sea Convention and the growth of the Pakistan population has widened the scope of the fishing industry and the need for sea food to supplement the protein needs of its hungry millions. This paper aims to stipulate a set of rules applicable to fishing vessels less than 24 m in length.