Proposed National Maritime Strategy

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Aim
  • Section I Maritime Trade and Shipping
  • Section II Ports
  • Section III Ship-building and Repair Activities
  • Section IV Maritime Clusters
  • Section V Bio – Resource Potential – Sustainable Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Section VI Ship-recycling Industry
  • Section VII Coastal Tourism
  • Section VIII Marine Pollution and Environmental Preservation
  • Section IX Offshore Hydrocarbon and Usable Mineral Deposits
  • Section X Maritime Ancillary Services
  • Section XI Coastal Zone Risks
  • Section XII Land-Sea Interface Management
  • Section XIII Marine Scientific Research
  • Section XIV Hydrography
  • Section XV Maritime Disciplines and Training
  • Section XVI Coastal Surveillance & Monitoring
  • Section XVII Maritime Security
  • Section XVIII Defence
  • Section XIX Quality of Life in Coastal Regions
  • Section XX Regional Cooperation
  • Section XXI Maritime Coordination at National Level
  • Section XXII Implementation


This national maritime strategy takes a lead from the national maritime policy in not only addressing the issues of concern but going a step further in giving it a sense of direction. This strategy thus proposes a viable methodology for meeting the given objective in a gradual and phased manner. An evolutionary, rather than a traditional, approach needs to be adopted, which would involve restructuring of our existing set-up into an effective maritime – oriented organization. This would serve the dual purpose of creating a favourable environment for attracting all manner of maritime activities and adopting the proven concepts that have made many countries and cities into maritime powerhouses. Once a certain momentum has been achieved, the country can look forward to the revitalized role of a regional trail blazer.

The Maritime Affairs Ministry and the National Maritime Authority, once set up as recommended, can effectively coordinate all the specialized maritime tasks. Specific responsibilities and targets would also need to be assigned to various Ministries and agencies in line with the National Maritime Strategy. These targets can be reviewed and reassessed periodically.

Each maritime – related organization needs to produce it’s own road map and action plan for vetting and approval by the NMACC prior implementation, as appropriate.

This strategy is meant for implementation by all relevant federal and provincial ministries in respect of functions entrusted and devolved to them under the Constitution and the Rules of Business 1973, as amended from time to time, as well as all relevant federal and provincial organizations and concerned public stakeholders.


The aim of the national maritime strategy is to create an enabling environment for the furtherance of a flourishing maritime economy through a viable, focused and proactive approach, within the given parameters of integration, security and sustainability.


0101 Maximum reliance should be placed on the medium of the sea for our external trade, this being the most cost-effective means of transportation. Our rivers and canals should also be utilized as much as possible for inland transportation of both men and material. Apart from inland waterways, multimodal operations should also be encouraged in order to improve the availability and efficiency of hinterland logistics and thereby provide purposeful connectivity to each and every part of the country.

0102 The tonnage of our merchant marine should be progressively increased. PNSC should possess sufficient oil tankers to cater to our entire crude oil requirements. A progressive increase in dry bulk carriers would also be desirable. Procurement of container ships should be next down in priority. PNSC should prepare a fleet revamping plan for progressive implementation, which can be periodically updated based on on-ground realities.

0103 Apart from oil, a strategically vital commodity, PNSCs choice of cargoes and destinations for its fleet of ships should be dictated by market forces, with a view to maximizing profit. PNSC should however cater to the country’s emergency trade requirements, if and when specifically requested. It’s choice of tramping or liner shipping should again be guided by market forces. PNSC should endeavour to curtail it’s administrative and operational expenditures so that it’s profits are optimized. Those ships not proving to be economically viable to maintain and operate, should be gradually phased out.

0104 The right sort of political and business climate should be created within the country to tempt the private sector entrepreneurs to commence shipping operations in Pakistan-registered ships. This would provide a further boost to our maritime economy.


0201 The problems afflicting our ports stem from an overtly centralized management approach, the presence of Board members and trustees notwithstanding. Enhancement in the ports’ working efficiency and operational transparency are also direly needed to improve their image.

0202 Less hierarchical alternative governance frameworks, which are more receptive to the demands and interests of stakeholders, should be considered. It needs to be recognized that shipping lines, third party logistics service providers and supply chain integrators, which are able to control freight from factories to consumers, are, in the globalised environment of the present, powerful actors which can dictate their own choice of routes. Pakistan’s ports should thus be competitive.

0203 At the moment, the only shipping traffic flowing in and out of Pakistan’s ports is that which is constrained to do so, for handling Pakistan’s own inbound and outbound trade. Apart from being competitive by adopting lean practices, ports need to create a suitable business climate for attracting investment in specialized berths, distriparks, districenters, value added logistics services, free trade zones etc. This enabling environment can only be brought about if port authorities maintain positive linkages with various stakeholders (carriers, shippers, transport operators, labour and govt. bodies) for optimizing efficiency through joint consultation and collaboration.

0204 Pakistan’s three major commercial ports need to develop an environment of competition as well as cooperation. While supplementing and complementing each other, each should focus on its own strengths and inherent advantages. Karachi port, being the oldest and most traditional, is losing out on traffic which was its sole preserve, because of it’s relative inattention to operational details like berth availability, ship waiting times, inefficient cargo handling etc. Operational availability of all its berths along with the envisaged Deep Sea Container Terminal and inland cargo village can enable Karachi Port to get back into the game, provided it overcomes its attendant operational deficiencies. While PQA enjoys the advantages of an adjacent industrial area and good inland transportation linkages, it needs to maintain a well-dredged and well-lit channel.

0205 Gwadar Port has not been much of an economic success so far because of a lack of infrastructure and inland transportation linkages. These deficiencies need to be overcome if the port is to achieve its optimum potential both as a transshipment hub as well as exclusively handling trade to and from Afghanistan, CARs and Western China. Gwadar port should be developed as a Special Economic Zone in the light of the Gwadar Port Master Plan 2006.

0206 Pakistan’s ports should be allowed to follow the landlord, tool or services port model or a combination of each, depending on whichever happens to be the most suitable or the most profitable. It should however be ensured in the case of the former two that detailed concession contracts, stipulating conditions and obligations, should be negotiated beforehand.

0207 Profitable alliances with private players for the full capacity use of vessels during trips can be entered into.

0208 Development of PORTNET should be initiated to integrate various port users such as shipping agents, shipping lines etc as well as ports, with each other, in order to streamline information flow and improve processing efficiency across ports.


0301 Pakistan’s foremost endeavour should be to focus on KSEWs capacity- building to the extent that it can take on a sizable chunk of the country’s own ship construction and repair requirements. The next step would be to target the ship repair needs of a large number of vessels plying the Arabian Sea.

0302 The Karachi Shipyard thus needs to be upgraded, administratively, operationally and technologically, in line with modern day standards. Its engineers, financial managers and workforce also need to be brought up to the requisite skill level to adapt to and take advantage of, the organizational and technical changes. Collaborative arrangement with any modern shipyard can help in achieving the above objectives.

0303 From a ship construction aspect, it is important for KSEW to have a capable design department catering to everything from concept design, through to 3D product modeling and manufacturing information. This would provide KSEW with the required confidence and flexibility to meet the specific demands of its customers, without dependence on outside sources.

0304 Apart from constructing merchant vessels and warships, KSEW should have the complete wherewithal to corner the entire local market for smaller craft like patrol crafts, dredgers, tugs, pilot boats, barges, survey vessels, fishing vessels (as per EU-approved specification) and other specialized craft for the Pakistan Navy, PMSA, KPT, PCG, PQA,GPA and fisheries department.

0305 The main demand for ship repair work stems from the periodical maintenance required to enable ships to maintain the minimum standards laid down by the IMO and classification societies. Such routine repair / maintenance is also meant to keep the ships operationally viable over their specified life cycle. These scheduled activities being preplanned, ship owners / operators are afforded sufficient flexibility to pick the repair facility of their choice. Pakistan enjoys an inherent advantage by being located relatively close to one of the major trade gateways i.e. the Gulf. This advantage can only be cashed in if world class facilities in terms of equipment and skill levels are available. Availability of cheap labour in a labour intensive field can again only come in handy if it is backed up by a skill level capable of handling and completing unique ship repair tasks like machinery overhauls, hull renewals, alterations, re-painting, tank cleaning etc in a timely manner.

0306 KSEW and any other shipyards set up in the public sector should be treated as a strategic industry and offered requisite governmental support to make it competitive and viable. A shipyard in Balochistan catering particularly to the construction and repairs of fibre glass fishing boats is an urgent and inescapable requirement.

0307 Necessary incentives should also be offered to the private sector for setting up modernistic ship building and repairing yards at any suitable site along the coast. The best natural incentive would however be a flourishing maritime sector in general, and a viable Karachi Shipyard in particular, operating in a safe, secure and profitable environment.


0401 The concept of a maritime cluster has been found to be economically, functionally and technologically viable, leading ultimately to economic prosperity. Close integration of maritime sectors fosters the trends of innovation, specialization and outsourcing.

0402. The setting-up of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Commission and a National Maritime Authority (as outlined in the National Maritime Policy) should be the first step in a pro-active governmental initiative aimed at attracting a variety of maritime services by providing incentives and creating a favourable business climate.

0403 Specialized private sector firms can then follow up on this initiative by linking up to form a maritime cluster. Such concentrations of technical skills and competences, while being both complementary and competitive at the same time, will not only promote the maritime sector in general but also give rise to an array of customized services.

0404 The cluster concept, recognizing the intricate relationships between the various players within the maritime sphere, utilizes their individual skills to forge a strong technological and management base, aimed at the optimum realization of our maritime potential. Activities as diverse as training, logistics, research, fisheries, environmental concerns, safety, marine equipment, offshore exploration, tourism and maritime services like shipping finance, marine insurance, maritime legal / arbitration services etc will certainly get a boost through proximity and skill-sharing synergies.


0501 The foremost need is to carry out a comprehensive offshore survey to assess the status of fisheries and ecosystems. Apart from it’s pelagic (mid-water) and demersal (bottom) components, the surveys should also include the inshore as well as the creek areas. Systematic habitat mapping with help identify our conventional and non-conventional benthic and pelagic bio-resources potential.

0502 Collection of reliable data on existing fish stocks, endangered species, by-catch, discards and waste will enable the formulation of a realistic fishing policy aimed at sustainable exploitation of our aquatic living resources.

0503 Awareness of responsible fisheries should be promoted amongst all the stakeholders through education and training as advised by the FAO, in line with the following general principles, as enshrined in their Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries 1995:

  • Need to conserve aquatic ecosystems
  • Effective fisheries management
  • Prevention of overfishing and excess fishing capacity
  • Insistence on selective and environmentally safe fishing gear and practices.
  • Protection of all critical fisheries habitats in marine and fresh water ecosystems such as wetlands, mangroves, reefs, lagoons, nursery and spawning areas

0504 It has however become apparent that many of Pakistan’s fishery resources are displaying signs of depletion. Deep Sea Fishing trawlers should not be granted licenses to fish in our EEZ as their method of fishing, apart from being wasteful, is contributing to the destruction of the spawning grounds and thereby steadily depriving small fisherfolk of their livelihood.

0505 Our surveillance and monitoring capabilities against all forms of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing should be suitably strengthened so that all violators are apprehended and penalized. Use of fine mesh fishing nets in particular, a practice which has by now spread to Baluchistan also from Sindh, needs to be strictly curbed.

0506 Larger sea – going fishing vessels, fitted out with selective and environmentally safe fishing gear, can be built in – country under approved specifications, to regain the space beyond 12 NM of the coast. The traditional fishermen and their new generations can be trained to take on their new responsibilities and be educated to appreciate the value of safe practices.

0507 Exports of seafood can be increased through the following means:

  • By suitably upgrading and restructuring all fish harbours at par with international standards.
  • By maintaining the necessary hygienic standards. EU concerns in this regard should be expeditiously met, it being our biggest customer.
  • By providing ample chilling and processing facilities, preferably close to the fish harbours.
  • By allowing direct exports from selected fish harbour in Balochistan.

0508 Effective legislation should be adopted and constant checks resorted to, so that pollution through land and sea sources, is minimized, as this poses the greatest threat to our ecology and biodiversity.

0509 ‘Marine Protected Areas’ can be designated as and when necessary as a fishery conservation measure for it’s sustainable use.

0510 Aquaculture and in particular, mariculture, provides an excellent alternative to increase our fishery yield at a time when capture fisheries is showing signs of stagnation. Though a few hatcheries inland are experimenting with local fish and shrimp species, our entire coast is still out of the loop of this profitable enterprise. The concept of Commercial Marine Aquaculture should be encouraged through setting up pilot fish farming projects and training centers and offering necessary incentives to potential investors, like subsidized leases of land, soft loans, income tax rebates, utilities, road access etc. This would also furnish traditional fishermen with greater job opportunities.

0511 Being a signatory to the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and various marine mammals as listed in their appendices, Pakistan’s obligation to protect endangered marine mammals (dolphins, whales etc) should be met.


0601 Recognising the economic potential of the industry, it should be the Government’s endeavour to provide the necessary facilities like good access roads, electricity, drinking water, schools, health facilities etc so that the right environment, conducive to stable development, is created.

0602 The private sector, likewise, apart from meeting the housing and welfare needs of its workers, should further be prevailed upon by law to minimize the health and environmental concerns associated with this business. IMOs Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009 adopted on 15 May 2009 needs to be adhered to, for which appropriate implementing legislation should be promulgated.

0603 It needs to be ensured that all ships arriving for ship-recycling should carry a certificate from the Government Authority of country of registration that it is in compliance with the Basel Convention and other Multi-lateral Environment Agreements (MEAs).

0604 The industry can truly flourish if the required infrastructure is in place and the essential needs of the trade as well as that of the employees are met.


0701 On a global basis, beaches happen to be the leading tourist attraction. Within the country, a large number of people living in and around Karachi do tend to visit the beaches occasionally for recreational purposes while for visitors from up-country, the sea becomes a must-see destination.

0702 Pakistan’s primary endeavour should be to capitalize on this intrinsic domestic liking for coastal tourism by opening up large stretches of pristine beaches all along the coast due west till Jiwani.

0703 After the planned Integrated Coastal Zone Management Commission takes root and maps out a plan for zonal development of the coastal areas, the first step should be to provide good public access (roads, rail, air etc) as well as the required utilities (electricity, gas, water etc) to the sites earmarked as tourist destinations.

0704 The private sector should then be encouraged to take on from there to systematically develop quality beaches, promenades, hotels, theme parks, markets etc, so essential to attracting and promoting domestic coastal tourism.

0705 It is apparent that, at present, amongst the relatively few people who visit the coast, a virtually negligible percentage indulges in recreational activities like sailing, boating, surfing, fishing, skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, cruises, submersible experiences etc. In order to encourage and indeed popularize these specialized recreational activities, interested entrepreneurs should focus on setting up the supporting infrastructure like harbours for recreational boating and cruises, piers for sailing, skiing and recreational fishing, marinas, marine equipment stores etc.

0706 Apart from tour operators and transporters, a whole lot of commercial activities and job opportunities will be created in the associated industries of hotelling, restaurants, ship and boat construction, production and retail of marine equipment & souvenirs etc.

0707 Following the example of many other Muslim countries, exclusive beaches alongwith the requisite infrastructure can also be reserved for foreign visitors. A relatively liberal regime backed by a good law and order situation is a must if our marketing strategy is to succeed.

0708 Other features that need attention are a relaxed and enjoyable environment, welcoming attitude, good quality service, healthy coastal habitat and regular beach maintenance.


0801 Having recognized that the vast bulk of the marine pollution of Pakistan’s seas and oceans has its origins in land-based sources, strict implementation of the following measures would considerably assist in stabilizing our valuable marine environment:

  • Regular checks / inspections should be conducted by the relevant environment protection agency to ensure that all factories are made compliant with the given environmental standards and discharges of industrial effluents are minimized, if not eliminated. The National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQs) in particular, as laid down in the Pakistan Environmental Act (EPA-97), should be strictly adhered to.
  • Unwanted discharges from oil refineries and oil terminals in particular should be kept under check.
  • Sewage treatment plants be set up on a large scale to prevent untreated sewage flowing into the sea.
  • Solid waste management be institutionalized.
  • Disposal of toxic wastes or used motor oils in drains should be prevented as it ultimately finds its way to the sea.

0802 Major sources of pollution should be pin-pointed and curbed. Heavy penalties can be levied on those organizations and agencies which fail to display progress after a given deadline.

0803 Marine pollution monitoring and ecological surveys should be carried out on a regular basis under national / provincial programmes covering all coastal areas and threatened marine living resources and marine bio-diversity in coastal and maritime areas

0804 With respect to marine pollution from shipping or sea dumping, a need exists to detect oil spills or discharges through aerial surveillance, sea patrols, coastal or port radar systems in quick time. Reaction to any such threat to the environment should also be immediate. It the violation is deemed to be deliberate, the offender can be hauled up and penalized as per law. Elaborate contingency plans should be drawn up for enabling equipment and manpower to be mobilized at short notice to handle a major oil spill by limiting its adverse impact.

0805 It should also be ensured that all international conventions on the subject, MARPOL 73/78 in particular, should be adhered to by all Pakistan-flagged vessels as well as those traversing our coast. All- inclusive implementing legislation should be promulgated.

0806 Monitoring, protection and afforestation of mangrove forests for controlling sea water erosion / intrusion and tsunamis as well as providing breeding grounds for fish and prawns should be made into a regular and prioritised activity.


0901 Just as the mineral and energy resources on land are showing signs of depletion, the seabed and the oceans with their immense potential for hydrocarbons and usable mineral deposits are getting ripe for exploitation, by virtue of becoming economically viable through evolving cost-cutting technology.

0902 A comprehensive geological survey should be conducted for mapping the surface and sub-surface characteristics of our continental shelf, using the latest technologies available in terms of seismography and the measurement of magnetic and gravitational fields.

0903 As far as the extraction of minerals and marine gas hydrate deposits is concerned, our focus at the moment should be on education and research, so that we do not lag too far behind in technology when their exploitation becomes viable.

0904 In the sphere of marine hydrocarbon extraction, a minor irritant in the form of our yet undemarcated maritime boundary needs to be sorted out on priority, either bilaterally or through arbitration. Those sea blocks showing a reasonably high hydrocarbon resource potential can then be outsourced for exploration, development and extraction, through a transparent process of competitive bidding.

Emphasis should also be laid on Pakistan’s own capacity – building to enable local firms, both public and private, to participate in the process, singly or in collaboration with foreign firms.


1001 Three factors are relevant to the growth of maritime ancillary services: Investor and environmental friendly policies, effective integrated management of the coastal zone and flourishing maritime activities. Services such as ship finance, marine insurance, maritime law, ship repair etc will automatically thrive once our maritime trade along with ports & shipping activities display an upward spiral.

1002 An increase in shipping traffic will result in value – added logistics services, inter-modal transportation services, maritime law, ship maintenance and repair services etc. An increase in the number of ships registered in the country will result in ship finance, marine insurance, ship classification, marine banking, ship brokering and ship survey activities. An improved port infrastructure will conversely attract the ships and contribute handsomely to the national economy through free trade zones, distriparks and districentres etc. An increase in coastal tourism will result in a corresponding increase in the manufacturing and retail of marine equipment, classification, survey and registration of recreational yachts, hoteling and restaurants etc.

1003 A cluster development approach for building ancillary capacity should be adopted.


1101 The term coastal risks can include a variety of factors like flooding, storm surge, gale force winds, habitat loss, hazardous spills, toxic releases, poaching, piracy, human / drugs smuggling etc.

1102 A vulnerability assessment to identify potential hazards is of prime importance, for generating better awareness and to prepare appropriate responses.

1103 Low – lying areas along the Pakistan coastline should be mapped, with data being compiled in GIS database for identification of vulnerable areas in the climate change scenario in which greater likelihood exists of increased frequency of natural hazards.

1104 Ground subsidence in the Indus deltaic area should be continuously monitored and the ground water extraction should be regularized to check the subsidence rate, which is an irreversible process capable of causing massive damage.

1105 The Marine Disaster Response Committee (MDRC) needs to be beefed up to anticipate and handle such eventualities like flooding, storm surge, gale force winds, hazardous spills, toxic releases etc. This needs to be undertaken in active coordination with all relevant authorities / departments / agencies like the Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Environment Protection Agency, Marine Pollution Control Board, Coast Guards, port authorities, concerned NGOs etc. Regular exercises need to be planned and conducted to ensure an optimum level of preparedness.

1106 Our National Maritime Disaster Contingency Plan (NMDCP) 2007 should be continuously kept updated and well-rehearsed.

1107 PMSA should continue to provide Search and Rescue at Sea and Distress Management Services through Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). Ships in the vicinity at sea as well as the Pakistan Navy can be called upon to assist.

1108 A strengthened Pakistan Maritime Security Agency would also be required to remain vigilant at all times to counter and thwart attempts at poaching, piracy, smuggling and oil / toxic releases.


1201 An Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Commission is needed for the preparation of a comprehensive plan catering to policy, capacity, environmental, zoning and administrative issues of both the terrestrial and marine components. Collaboration of all relevant stakeholders is essential to ensure that the final product is workable and practicable. Plan must have adequate provisions to protect and where necessary, to restore, coastal environments.

1202 The same Commission should thereafter act as a watchdog during the transition to the implementation phase. It is not only to oversee and regulate the implementation process but also to ensure that the given guidelines are not infringed in any way. The Authority can further serve as a facilitator, mediator and arbitrator between the various parties involved, to enable the process to proceed smoothly and methodically. The sustainable development concept as envisaged in the National Conservation Strategy (NCS) 1992 and National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) is to be kept in mind. Emphasis should be laid on the creation of green belts along the coast as far as practicable to blunt the forces of nature.

1203 Workshop Report No. 114 based on recommendations formulated at the end of an international workshop on Integrated Coastal Zone Management organized by MoST/NIO with the support of IOC provides comprehensive guidelines and can be capitalized upon.

1204 The Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) adopted by the Government of Pakistan as an obligation under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, should serve as a road map for conservation and sustainable use of biological resources in the country. It recommends inter alia implementation of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) plan and declaration of the Indus delta as Biosphere Reserve under World Heritage Convention of UNESCO.

1205 Effective cooperation among the various regulatory bodies responsible for overseeing coastal development as well as private sector stakeholders would be pivotal to the success of ICZM implementation. Individual projects would be subject to Environmental Impact Assessment, with the regulatory bodies delving into the capacity issues.


1301 Marine Scientific Research (MSR) refers to activities undertaken in accordance with Part XIII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS’ 82) in the ocean and coastal waters whose purpose is to expand general scientific knowledge of the marine environment.

1302 MSR activities include physical and chemical oceanography, marine biology, marine fisheries, aquaculture, ocean drilling and coring, geological / geophysical studies, marine ecology, hydrology, cyclonomy, sedimentology, climate science etc, all devoted to learning more about the nature and resources of the oceans.

1303 The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) needs to be progressively expanded so that more and more of the above research activities are undertaken. All scientific findings should be suitably shared with both public and private stakeholders so that industry can ultimately profit from such research.

1304 SOPs need to be prepared for dealing with requests for MSRs from foreign vessels, sharing of research data and boarding of Pakistani scientists on board foreign ships etc.

1305 Assistance can also be sought from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO. Bilateral and regional collaboration should also be considered with the promotion of marine scientific research as it’s prime objective.

1306 The setting up of a dedicated National Maritime University will furnish the much-needed boost to the disciplines of marine sciences, thereby encouraging other universities in the country to institute such programs also. An increase in the

number of marine science graduates will improve the quantity and quality of marine scientific research.


1401 The Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department being the National Hydrogrphic Office is currently handling this vital maritime aspect in terms of collection, compilation and dissemination of hydrographic data, while meeting Pakistan’s national and international requirements of area coordination and keeping all nautical information up-to-date.

1402 This set-up should be further strengthened to meet all emerging national, regional and international hydrographic requirements in terms of status, legislation and coordination with all possible users of hydrographic information, in addition to developing and upgrading it’s capabilities to the optimum degree in line with international standards.


1501 The setting-up of a National Maritime University, on the lines of the IMO – sponsored World Maritime University at Malmo, Sweden, would not only help in generating maritime awareness in a country where it is sadly lacking but also create specializations in various maritime fields.

1502 The much – needed maritime disciplines of naval architecture and ship-building, maritime law, logistics management, port and maritime management, dredging, marine fisheries research etc can be instituted with the collaboration of foreign universities.

1503 Apart from taking the Marine Academy, where training of seafarers is conducted, under it’s wing, this National Maritime University should have a major say in all maritime disciplines conducted under the auspices of any Pakistani university or institution, public or private.


1601 In order to spot and take action on cases of IUUF (Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing), pollution by transiting merchant vessels, unauthorized surveys, communication interference human smuggling, drugs trafficking and other illegal activities, it is vital that Pakistan’s coast, as far as the EEZ limits at least, be kept under constant surveillance at all times.

1602 Apart from maintaining Pakistan’s current network of surveillance and high-definition radars, at least one HF radar should be inducted to furnish the much-needed long range coverage. An oil slick detection system should also be accorded priority. The setting up of an Intelligence Fusion Cell would considerably assist in the gathering, sharing and dissemination of all relevant threat information. All fishing boats operating out of Pakistani harbours should be fitted with trackers.

1603 Patrol aircraft and vessels of the Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and Pakistan Coastal Guards should also carry out regular patrols to detect and interdict vessels found to be engaged in illegal activities. Aircraft on ground and vessels in the vicinity can also be tasked to respond to intelligence-cum-surveillance reports regarding suspicious crafts. Pollution in general and unauthorized discharges of oily effluents by transiting vessels in particular should be closely monitored and countered. Vessels known to be carrying hazardous materials should also be kept under watch at all times to prevent unauthorized dumping of such waste in our waters. All legal lacunae concerning arrests and prosecution need to be addressed through enactment of appropriate legislation.


1701 It is mandatory for Pakistan, being a signatory to the SOLAS Convention (1974/1988) and automatically to the later ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) code, to enforce the minimum given requirements for security of ships and ports.

1702 At present, port – related security arrangements are being handled by the respective port authorities namely KPT, PQA and GPA while those pertaining to Pakistan – flagged vessels at sea are being controlled by PNSC (Pakistan National Shipping Corporation).

1703 This arrangement can continue, with the planned National Maritime Authority being entrusted with the mandate to assess, monitor, check and oversee the implementation of the mandatory requirements as per the given guidelines.

1704 To encapsulate, port authorities should regularly reassess their security requirements and based on their risk – evaluation, set and communicate appropriate security levels for the port facility as well as ships in harbour and those flying the Pakistani flag.

1705 PNSC and private owners of Pakistan – registered ships, if any, are required to ensure that their respective vessels carry an International Ship Security Certificate indicating compliance with the ISPS code as well as a Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) of the history of the ship. The ships should further be fitted with a Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) as well as a Shipborne Automatic Identification System (AIS).

1706 In addition, various initiatives established by the United States, like the Container Security Initiative (CSI), the Mega Ports Initiative (MPI) and the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI) should be adhered to in respect of ships and cargo bound for US ports.


1801 Recognising the huge potential of the maritime sector and its burgeoning impact on our national economy, it’s defence needs to be progressively beefed up to prevent and deter all likely disruptions.

1802 It needs to be appreciated that the manner and level of threats have magnified and diversified. Present day realities and threats should accordingly be kept in view while considering the strengthening of the defence of our maritime interests. Traditional development concepts should thus be shunned in favour of those that best provide the most cost – effective defence to the various likely threats. Optimum coordination between the various concerned services and agencies for this common purpose should be the order of the day.

1803 Our fledgling defence industry should be supported and encouraged to furnish innovative and cost – cutting solutions.


1901 Quality of life in the coastal regions can be significantly improved through the following measures, which should be encouraged:

Creating job opportunities in maritime-related activities like coastal tourism, fisheries, manufacturing & warehousing, marine renewables, ancillary services etc.

Commencing a coastal ferry service at an opportune time.

Enhancement of the coastal infrastructure.

Ready access to essential services like electricity, telephone, medical, drinking water, linking roads etc.

Enforcement of labour laws with respect to worker rights and working environment.

Preserving the marine environment and marine biodiversity by minimizing pollution in all its forms.

1902 It stands to reason that productivity, for which a tremendous potential exists, can only be enhanced by improving the well-being of the people living along the coast together with their capacity-building. A balance needs to be struck between modernity and preservation of cultural values and traditional way of life.

1903 The quality of life in our coastal region can only visibly be improved through proper execution of a master plan to be prepared by the soon-to-be-set-up Integrated Coastal Zone Management Authority.

1904 Once the broad zoning has been done, development works can be undertaken by both the public and private sectors. Amongst the most essential and basic of requirements would be air, rail and road access as well as provision of utilities like water, electricity, gas, telephones etc.

1905 This would open up unlimited job opportunities, which in turn would automatically result in enhancing the quality of life as well as productivity.

1906 Our entire coastal belt is ideally suited for harnessing the power of the wind and the sun. Setting up of solar and wind farms at suitable sites along the coast would not only provide a clean source of energy but also assist in it’s development, along with generating the accompanying employment opportunities.

1907 Current efforts should be reinforced through programs and projects like Blue Flag Beach Certification Program etc.

1908 ‘Adopt a Village’ scheme can also be introduced, where international partners and local industry can be encouraged to adopt one coastal village for health, education and sustainable development activities.


2001 Regional cooperation is the key to optimize management of our ocean resources, spur sustainable growth, resolve intractable issues and derive mutual benefits.

2002 Pakistan accordingly needs to actively participate in such regional groupings / initiatives like IOMAC (Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Cooperation) and IOR-ARC (Indian Ocean Rim – Association for Regional Cooperation). While IOMAC has a more broader set of objectives, IOR-ARC is solely focused on shared benefits and development through economic cooperation. South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) is another such initiative in which active participation is desirable.

2003 Such forums, in a regional context, are ideally suited to enhance mutual security through joint cooperation on key issues. Multifarious fields like maritime laws, maritime regimes, fisheries, oceanography, geophysics, marine sciences and technology, energy renewables, offshore exploitation etc contain within them assorted problems and issues that can only be amicably resolved through mutual collaboration.

2004 Similarly, delimitation of maritime boundaries, bilaterally or through arbitration, is essential for removing needless irritants on the path towards economic prosperity through regional accommodation.

2005 The Navy’s effective role in diplomacy and flag-showing needs to be fully utilised.


2101 It needs to be recognized that maritime issues are rather specialized in nature. In addition, being inter-related in one way or another, the requirement for a maritime – specific organizational hierarchy becomes inescapable.

2102 The existing Ministry of Ports and Shipping should accordingly be renamed as the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, with an expanded charter, the idea being that all maritime issues should either be handled, or at the least coordinated, by a single Ministry.

2103 A suitably reconstituted National Maritime Affairs Coordination Committee can continue to meet on at least a quarterly basis to discuss policy matters as well as the responsibilities entrusted vide Para 2202.

2104 The existing Directorate General Ports and Shipping can likewise be suitably reconstituted to handle an expanded maritime portfolio and designated as the National Maritime Authority. This Authority should handle, coordinate or oversee the following maritime – related issues:

  • Imports by sea of major commodities (being currently managed in isolation by various ministries) like oil (Ministry of Petroleum & NR) grains (Ministry of Food of Agriculture) and iron ore / coal (Ministry of Production).
  • Pollution of the sea from ship-based and land-based sources.
  • Adherence to MARPOL 73/78 by all vessels in Pakistani waters
  • Sustainable fisheries
  • Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing
  • Seaworthiness of Pakistan – flagged vessels and foreign vessels in Pakistani waters
  • Vessel surveys of Pakistan – flagged vessels
  • Oversee the training, engagement, certification & welfare of seafarers
  • Maintenance of Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) on board Pakistan – flagged vessels
  • Ship and port security
  • Dredging
  • Offshore technological activities
  • Maritime distress and safety communication network
  • Search and Rescue Operations
  • Coastal network of marine aids to navigation
  • Promoting industrial linkages


2201 Policy guidelines have been promulgated through the ‘National Maritime Policy’ while implementation guidelines are being promulgated through this document.

2202 It’s implementation is to be ensured through the following phased process:

  • Assigning responsibilities and targets – by NMACC through a consultative process.
  • Monitoring, assessment, periodical review and adjustment – by NMACC.

2203 The process of transfer of additional responsibilities to the National Maritime Authority would be gradual and phased, in line with the parallel process of capacity – building, as per a timeline consensually agreed to by the NMACC.

2204 All defence and security – related issues should continue to be handled / coordinated by MoD / MoI / JSHQ / Services Headquarters.

2205 Implementation guidelines contained in this document are equally applicable to provincial administrations in respect of the subjects which have been devolved to the provinces, the following in particular:

  • Fisheries
  • Ship – recycling industry
  • Coastal tourism
  • Marine pollution and environmental preservation
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Development and Management

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