November 21 was declared World Fisheries Day by the World Forum on Fisherpeoples in 1998 to draw attention to the problems faced by fishing communities all over the world.
According to a recent United Nations study, over two thirds of the world’s fisheries have been over exploited and the remaining third is in a state of decline as a result of factors such as the loss of habitats, pollution and global warming.
World Fisheries Day aims to raise awareness through meetings, seminars, conferences, rallies and shows organized all over the world to highlight the challenges and threats to the health of marine resources and to the wellbeing of communities that depend on water ecosystems.
In Pakistan, for example, the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum is holding a protest march to express solidarity with other fishing communities. The PPF is campaigning against the allotment of two islands off the Karachi coast to a foreign firm for the development of a massive project, usurping the province’s resources without the consent of local people. Growing tourism in recent years has caused many fishermen to abandon the coast.