By Badil Baloch
The crystal clear water of Makran coast belt provides an ideal breeding environment for fish. But the recent years have seen an increase in water pollution which is damaging this breeding environment.
Fish are either dying of the poisonous substances present due to pollution or drifting away from the coast line. According to the locals, the biggest cause of this toxic pollution is diesel smuggling by sea routes.
The diesel is smuggled from the neighboring country Iran via Jiuni coast into Baluchistan and then transported to Karachi by oil tankers. A lot of diesel gets spilled into the sea when it is transported by ship tankers, because of lack of proper transportation procedures. Then this toxic pollution caused by oil spills becomes a doomsday call for the sea life.
Every day hundreds of fish are found dead on the Makran coast. The coastal cities of Makran, Jiwani, Peshkan, and Ganz are the most affected ones by oil caused pollution.
Besides this most of the garbage is deposited on the beach, which is not only destroying the natural beauty of the Makran Beach, but a lot of toxic elements are also carried into the water by polluted air currents, which is nothing less than poison for the fish.
The pollution causes many lethal diseases including epidermal papilloma, hyperplasia, gill disease, fin/tail rot. Ameen Daad, a fish trader told Pak Voices that Pollution is the main cause of the massive slum in fish quantity. He revealed that earlier, every company in Pasni used to dispatch six containers of fish to Karachi but now this number has been reduced to three containers only.
Pak Voices consulted many people of the fish trade to their point of view. Lal Bakhsh, a 63 year old fisherman with 28 years into the trade said, “Earlier we used to catch so many fish that we used to send edible fish to the people of dry land for free, but now thanks to water pollution the number of fish has reduced drastically. Even you can’t find fish at any fisherman’s home let alone gifting others.”
Raziq Abbas, the owner of two fishing boats said, “A few years ago if anyone owned a boat, people would regard him a wealthy businessman. Now things have changed due to pollution. The number of fish has reduced and the demand for boats has nosedived. No one is interested in buying a boat even at a low price.
Pak Voice contacted Niaz Ahmed, Assistant Commissioner Fisheries, Pasni to convey fishermen’s pleas regarding problems caused by pollutions. He acknowledged that water pollution has become a huge challenge for Makran coastal belt, claiming that the government is trying to contain this issue. He told, “We are in contact with the Federal Government to persuade them to take it seriously and help the Baluchistan Government to overcome the monster of pollution.”
Badil Baloch is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Pasni, Gwadar.
Translated by Tariq Mehmood