Base: Abdul Rehman Goth, Karachi
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is located in South Asia and has a coastline of approximately 990 kilometres on the Arabian Sea consisting of two parts; Sindh Coast (270 km) and Balochistan (720 km).
Pakistan spans an area of 881,913 square kilometres and is the world’s fifth-most populous country with a population of more than 225.2 million.
About Abdul Rehman Goth
Abdul Rehman Goth (ARG) is a centuries-old fishing village situated in the Sindh Province of Karachi with a population of around 5,000 people and approximately 300 fishing boats. Like so many traditional fishing communities, climate change, limited resources and overfishing strongly affect this community.
ARG is situated in Hawke’s Bay, close to Hawksbay beach a well known green sea turtle nesting beach. Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ghost gear) is a grave concern for sea turtles in the area as well as
for the livelihoods of fishers of ARG.
Unfortunately no return schemes or disposal facilities exist for fishing gear in ARG. Therefore waste management in the area is a challenge and continues to be a serious concern for the community.
ARG serves as a pilot project for waste management projects to address the issue. We eventually hope to expand our activities to neighbouring villages along the Karachi coastline.
Main Activities & Key Objectives
Our main objective in Pakistan is to minimise green sea turtle entanglement and protect their habitats from marine debris. To achieve this we predominantly work with schools in Karachi and the fishing community of Abdul Rehman Goth (ARG) to highlight the dangers of plastic pollution to sea turtles.
We have been working with the ARG community since 2015 with the aim of preventing fishing gear loss and repurposing recovered ghost gear and end of life fishing gear into saleable products. The repurposing of ghost gear creates a circular economy that financially benefits the community whilst at the same time reduces the threat of entanglement and ingestion to sea turtles in the area. The sale of the products provide local work; work that can provide a significant addition to the household income of a fisher family. Since 2015 our volunteers have recovered more than 5 tons of ghost gear from the sea and beaches near the village.
Education and outreach is an important tool in achieving our objectives. So far we have reached over 400 school children from grades 5 upwards in Karachi. One school, Karachi Grammar School, donated over 1000 books to the ARG village school to help improve educational resources within the community. The pupils of another school, Beaconhouse IB Campus, Clifton, visited the ARG fishing community and made ghost net bracelets that they sold in their school fairs.
We plan to expand our activities beyond ARG in the Hawke’s Bay area and the Balochistan province. Working with fishing villages we hope to replicate the circular economy project that has been developed in ARG. In addition, Astola Island, a marine protected area in Balochistan is of particular interest to us given the reported green turtle nesting activity in the area and the entanglement threat this population faces.