Govt bans retail fish trade in harbour premises

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has imposed ban on retail fish trade in the premises of the Karachi Fish Harbour.

According to an official document, the Ministry of Maritimes Affairs (MoMA) on the recommendation of the National Command and Operation Centre has framed SOPs after consulting all stakeholders including the Sindh government to ensure smooth operations of fishermen from harbour/jetties in the wake of COVID-19.

The ministry has directed all stakeholders including the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS), the Sindh Trawlers Owners & Fishermen Association (STOFA) and the processing units to submit an undertaking in writing to the Karachi Fish Harbour Authority (KFHA) that they all would strictly follow the SOPs of the Sindh government for social distancing and preventive measures besides providing necessary preventive materials such as masks, gloves and sanitisers to their employees and laborers.

The staff of KFHA and FCS will monitor the operations of KFH and would also control traffic in a manner that doesn’t necessitate people more than the capacity of various spaces in the harbour.

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The fish catch will not be offloaded as well as auction of fish will be carried out on boat, while one representative each from FCS, mole holder/beopari and 3-5 purchasers will be allowed during auction. After the auction, the fish catch will be transported directly to processing plants on vehicles, document reveals.

After every auction, the entire area of market/jetties will be cleaned and sterilised through sanitisers by FCS.

Only persons and vehicles authorised by KFHA and FCS will enter the harbour’s premises and entrance in the export zone (market/jetties) will only be allowed through walk-through sanitisers installed by FCS.

The crew of fishing boat will be screened for COVID- 19 prior to boarding the boat after the conclusion of the returning journey. In case any fisherman is found positive with COVID-19, he will be quarantined as per SOPs.

All boat owners will ensure that boats will return from voyage within the period specified in the PC issued by Pakistan Customs, the document concludes.

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