Studies on the Use of Aquatic Food in Pakistan


  • Muhammad Wasim Khan Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Ghulam Abbas Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan



aquatic food, usage, processing methods, export commodities


The natural resources of Pakistan, such as the Arabian Sea, the Indus Delta, dams, lakes, and mountain streams, present a variety of marine and inland fisheries potentials. These resources support numerous species with dietary and economic value. Fish and other aquatic food are major sources of protein for native people and animal populations worldwide. Fish accounts for 7% of the protein in diet and 17% in animal protein. Fish production in Pakistan rose from 214,231 metric tonnes in 1973 to 733,025 metric tonnes in 2021 at a rate of 4.9% per annum. During the same period, the amount of fish used for human consumption went from 99,368 metric tonnes to 500,866, at an annual rate of 9.7%. Fish export had increased at the rate of 18.6% from 24,623 metric tonnes in 1980 to 217,030 metric tonnes in 2021. The export values reached 496 million US$ in 2022-23. In 2021, fish imports totalled 5,770 metric tonnes. Fish for human consumption in aquatic food chains are typically sold in canned, frozen, cured, or fresh forms. Fresh marketing, freezing, and canning all require special equipment, which involves high capital costs. However, curing is a simple, low-cost preservation process that doesn't involve much in the way of material or capital expenditures. Frozen fishery products are dominant with 85%, followed by live (7%), dried (6%) and chilled (2%).  Fish is also processed into meal before being added to animal feed; the bulk of processed fishmeal is used for chicken feed. 16% of the total fish production was converted to fishmeal production. With 25 currently in operation in Karachi and 30 in Gwadar, the country’s fish processing facilities are somewhat old and equipped with outdated machinery. Particularly for rural populations, fisheries resources offer sustainable development, employment opportunities, and financial rewards. Additionally, it has been noted that export statistics for fisheries are not adequately reported, which is necessary for them to be comparable to those of other countries. The study also provides sources for fisheries statistics.



DOI: 10.56946/jzs.v1i2.246

How to Cite

Khan, M. W., & Abbas, G. (2023). Studies on the Use of Aquatic Food in Pakistan. Journal of Zoology and Systematics, 1(2), 40–57.