This week VOA Urdu published a 3 minute vlog on its YouTube channel highlighting locals in Sindh’s Tharparkar district successfully harvesting organic fish in a saline water lake.
The production of high-value marine fish and shrimp in inland saline well water is a growing industry in several countries. Organic industry is projected to grow to an estimated $263 billion by the year 2022, says a report.
With successful fish farming and aquaculture projects underway at the reservoir, Gorano has become a prized eco-tourism site.Dr Abdul Razak Shaikh
Pakistan is utilizing a portion of the 1500 acre lake near Thar coal mine for organic (chemical free) fish farming, “a first in the region”, say some experts.
An organic fish as big and heavy as 12.5kg has been produced at the lake, an official says in the vlog.
It’s a huge success, an independent source who was involved in Thar Foundation and the Sindh Agro Mining company says.
“Also, it is for the first time that fish production has been undertaken in Thar Desert…will attract local employment,” he adds.
The program was started at the Gorano reservoir –some 35 kilometers away from Thar Coal Block II, in 2018. The initiative has so far yielded nearly 90 percent survival rate. It is expected the project will produce more than 200,000 kg organic fish a year –that’s more than a couple of million dollars of unconventional export if undertaken.
The reservoir being a unique wetland of deep subsoil saline water pumped out from Thar coal mine is also a new habitat for migratory birds.
A brief ecological survey by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has reflected positively on the Gorano pond filling with groundwater. The report says the subsoil saline water wetland is attracting various birds which feed on fish and several other birds of different species.
With successful fish farming and aquaculture projects underway at the reservoir, Gorano has become a prized eco-tourism site also.
Since Pakistan has been concentrating on developing eco-tourism as a revenue stream, Gorano is a success story for rest of the country north of Sindh, it’s southern province whose capital is mega port city Karachi.