Meeting on Launching of Project on Installation of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Onboard Fishing Vessels (FVs)

The meeting on installation of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for onboard fishing vessels was held under Co-Chairmanship of Federal Secretary for Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Federal Secretary for Ministry of Defence at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islamabad today.

The Secretary for MoMA welcomed the Secretary for Defence to the Ministry. While addressing to the meeting, the Secretary for MoMA highlighted that the installation of VMS for onboard fishing vessels is a delayed project that needs to be materialized as soon as possible. As currently in Pakistan, no tracking system is in place to monitor the activity of fishing vessels both in territorial waters and deep sea.

The Secretary further highlighted that the information system of VMS would allow tracing and tracking of the sea going vessels, and fishery management at sea with which a number of issues related to fishing in Pakistan would be resolved.

The Defence Secretary also stressed on the operationalization of the project and highlighted that the said project would open multiple avenues of development for the fishery sector of Pakistan. He further highlighted numerous benefits that the VMS would be providing to the country including ensuring of proper fishing practices, the prevention of illegal fishing and ensuring traceability of fish and fishery products to bring credibility in exports of fish and fisheries product.

During the meeting, a detailed presentation and a draft proposal for the said project was presented and numerous ideas were exchanged on the basis of which the Federal Secretaries directed the participant for the creation of a steering committee which will meet next week to further present the implementation plan.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Mathar Niaz Rana, Federal Secretary for Maritime Affair, and Lt. Gen (Retd) Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, HI(M), Federal Secretary for Ministry of Defence and was attended by; Mr. Asad Rafi Chandna, Additional Secretary for Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Mr. M. Farhan Khan, Assistant Fisheries Development Commissioner, Mr.  Faisal Amin, Additional Secretary – III of Ministry of Defence, Captain Umar, Representative from Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), and Captain Haroon, Deputy Chief Maritime Affairs.

The meeting decided to involve all the concerned stakeholders in the steering committee and to hold a follow-up meeting in the coming week.