Seaweeds Survey, Karachi Coast © MFF/IST
Very limited means of practicing alternate livelihoods have been developed in the poverty stricken coastal communities of Pakistan and there remains a dire need for them. Some traditional means are also under stress like culture of commercially important fish species and crabs. Among other options, an untapped potential rests in harvesting and marketing commercially important Ulva spp. of seaweed that grows along Karachi coast. This will multiply the growth of the community in terms of better livelihood initiative and sustainable approaches towards the utilization of natural resources.
A serious problem faced by the fisher communities of Pakistan is the increasing load on the fisheries assets during the most recent decade. The continuous utilization of juvenile fish by the community has declined the stocks substantially. There are several reasons causing decrease in its size. The unsustainable practices have amplified with the application of unlawful/banned nets and overexploitation of the asset causing a decay of nature of the fish yields. The decrease in catch with respect to size and weight is due to the continually expanding number of anglers fishing in the area. The decrease in fish populace describes an overuse of fishery assets. The local residents’ economic condition mostly relies upon the fish catch and therefore a poor catch brings about the amplification of their hardships. The misfortune of the coastal residents is tremendous and might be computed by taking a look at the shrinkage of white collar class and exploitation of the powerless poorer ones by the brokers.
Seaweed resources along Pakistan coast have great economic potential due to their utilization in food, cosmetics and industrial uses. They also play an important role in aquaculture and fish breeding. Habitat of many sea species rely on seaweeds for their shelter and food requirements. The need to preserve and market seaweeds in Pakistan can be appreciated by realizing the importance of these precious coastal resources and their economic value.
Ulva spp. of seaweed is of high business esteem and sustainable marketing of it will provide an alternate livelihood to the local community. The proposed concept will be intervened in Buleji coastal area to fulfill the core objective by creating awareness among coastal residents and giving them choices and opportunities for alternate income generation. The project will aid in uplifting the socioeconomics of the fisher communities residing in Buleji. This will ultimately reduce their poverty and allow them to carry sustainable marketing of Ulva spp. without degradation of this natural resource.
The project is managed through a series of training and capacity building workshops and events. Our team will encourage the community to strive for a self-sustained income generation approach through sustainable management of this resource. This will be done by establishing enterprise which will help community to improve their living standards. Furthermore, community based market access groups will be identified and trained to introduce seaweed to the market while keeping their production grounds sustainable. This will provide direct benefit to the people of the under-developed and under-privileged coastal communities.
The task is focused on a long term goal of poverty reduction of poor coastal communities of Pakistan by introducing alternate income sources through marketing of Ulva spp. The main beneficiaries of the undertaking are the poorest groups of the selected community. They will build the capacity to secure a substantial income every month. Through the proposed practice, they will be ready to enhance their lifestyles and to avoid the excessive abuse of the surrounding valuable coastal assets. This venture will make substitute employment hotspots for local community of Buleji coast.
Besides local residents and potential buyers; fishing industry and other government agencies are targeted beneficiaries, by developing sustainable marketing strategies/practices of seaweed in the country. There are various local and international organizations that may also be benefited by project outputs including;
The project is closely related to the climate change scenarios and their impact on seaweed growth. It communicates to the people who live along the coastline and other stakeholders to raise their awareness about seaweed resources and how seaweed preservation and marketing may benefit them and contribute in country’s economy. Ulva spp. harvesting and marketing has an extraordinary potential to be embraced as trading work source of the region selected in this proposal but it has not yet been assessed. The point of this task is to open doors for coastal communities to exploit other means of income and make them aware about reasonable marketing practices along with establishing their links with the potential buyers.
In order to ensure that both women and men benefit from the project and have balance contribution in project related activities, women are also encouraged to become part of decision-making by attending community based meetings. During these meetings the appropriate role of both genders will be defined/assigned according to their capabilities and willingness to participate in the project related activities.
Karachi Coast, Sindh, Pakistan
25th Dec 2014 to 25th Jun 2016
Pakistan Fisher Fork Forum
Arjumand Z. Zaidi
NCRG, 28-Gulzar-e-Hijri, SUPARCO Rd. Karachi 75270
Tel.:021-34690765 ext 2255