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Maximum Sustainable Yield and Development Status of 24 Commercial Marine Fish Groups from Pakistani Waters

Maximum Sustainable Yield and Development Status of 24 Commercial Marine Fish Groups from Pakistani Waters

Kui Zhang1,2, Ping Geng1, Sher Khan Panhwar3, Khadim Hussain Memon4 and Zuozhi Chen1,2,*

1Key Laboratory of Open-Sea Fishery Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangzhou 510300, P.R. China
2Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory, Guangzhou 510300, P.R. China
3Fishery Biology Laboratory, Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
4Department of Zoology, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur Mir’s 66020, Pakistan

*      Corresponding author:


Marine fisheries play an important role in the national economy of Pakistan, as reflected in the provision of animal protein, employment solutions, and foreign-exchange earnings through exports. However, stock assessments are available for few of the commercial marine fish species in Pakistani waters. Most commercial fish species lack assessments of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and allowable catch, a situation that hinders effective fisheries management. A Catch–MSY model based on statistical catch data and prior information on population parameters was applied to assess the total allowable catch (TAC) and MSY values for 24 commercial marine fish groups, and thereby assess the status of the fisheries. The results showed an overall MSY of 40.53×104 tonnes and a TAC of 36.47×104 tonnes for the marine fisheries in Pakistani waters. The overall catch in 2015 was less than MSY, so it was considered that the waters were not overfished. However, the MSY estimates for the 24 fish groups showed that 8 groups (cobia, barracudas, groupers, butterfishes, common dolphinfish, dorab wolf-herring, crevalle jack and largehead hairtail) were overfished because their catches in 2015 exceeded the MSY values. Our assessment indicates that the marine fishery resources in Pakistan have now been fully developed. Therefore, it is necessary to intensify the management of the fish resources, and take effective measures to control the fishing effort and catches in Pakistani waters. Moreover, we recommended developing the pelagic fishery resources, such as purpleback flying squid Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis in the Arabian Sea.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 53, Iss. 1, Pages 1-400


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