The water and fish experts have drawn the attention of the Federal government to ensure the flow of water in Kotri downstream in Indus River, saying that Sindh could face an unimagined loss in the years to come, due to sea erosion .

While emphasizing to initiate serious measures in this regard, they recommended that both federal and provincial governments must devise a durable policy regarding constant water flow in the Indus River otherwise, a tens of thousands people hinging on the fisheries for their livelihood would be badly affected.

They emphasized this while addressing a seminar organized by the Department of Freshwater Biology and Fisheries University of Sindh Jamshoro on Wednesday to mark the World Fish Migration Day (WFMD).

The experts raised awareness among the masses about the significance of river flow and migratory fish for human lives. They urged the government to save water and fish as per the globally announced theme titled “Connecting Fish, Rivers and People”.

Director of Centre for Coastal and Deltaic Studies (CCDS), Sindh University Campus Thatta Prof. Dr Mukhtiar Ahmed Mahar while speaking on the occasion said that the first ever awareness programme regarding the fish migration had been observed in the department, which will prove beneficial for the conservation of the assets and resources. “The recommendations of this seminar must be shared with the Sindh government for implementation”, he said.

Director of Inland Fisheries Sindh Bashir Ahmed Dogar said that Department of Freshwater Biology of University of Sindh and Sindh Fisheries could jointly carry out research and awareness projects for the development of the province and the country.

Deputy Director of Inland Fisheries Sindh Khaleeq Ahmed Soomro said that initiatives should be taken to ensure research collaboration between the varsity and the Sindh government for the welfare and advancement of fisheries in Sindh.

Soomro said that during her research project in Japan, it was proved that juveniles of shrimp were in a higher population at the tail of rivers that entered into the Sea.

“It is therefore, proved that the flow of rivers is most important for the population of aquatic animals for their growth and survival”, she added.

Professor of the Department of Geography University of Sindh Dr. Sujoo Mall said that there was a great impact of climate change on life or the terrestrial of the aquatic adding that it was also one of the reasons for migration in animals.

Dr. Punhal Khan Lashari talked about the importance of world-famous “Palla” fish and said it was one of the most delicious and valuable species being found in the Indus River. “Palla” fish migrates from sea water to Indus River for breeding purposes during the monsoon season”, he said and added, “the flow of the Indus River has a direct relation with the survival of this precious species”.

Dr. Muhammad Younis Laghari, who was also moderator of the programme, warned that if the government did not devise a strategy to cope with the climate and stop the anthropological activities by which the Palla fish would lose its survival. He said, fish fauna is not only in estuarine but all natural water resources adding that everyone should have regular water flow of Indus River not only for the fisheries’ survival but also for the safety of our agricultural land.

He informed that if the government was not serious about the matter, Sindh will face an unimagined loss in the years to come, due to sea erosion.

Chairman Department of Freshwater Biology and Fisheries Prof. Dr. Khalid Hussain Lashari recommended that the federal government and Sindh government must make a strict policy of constant water flow in the Indus River as according to him there were thousands of people relying on these resources for their livelihood. “If we ignore the issue at this stage, we will lose many fish species also in future”, he stated.

He also offered the services of expert faculty members of the Department of Freshwater Biology and Fisheries to the government of Sindh for further research and helping in policy making.

The Dean Faculty of Natural Sciences Professor Dr Wazir Ali Baloch said that migration was a natural process of animals including fish.