Punjab Fisheries Department (PFD) is going to launch a project under which model standard outlets offering frozen, fresh and live fish for consumers in a hygienic and odourless environment will be set up in six different cities of the province at an estimated cost of Rs65 million. First such outlet has been planned at Muridke near Lahore while other cities include Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan (DGK). The department will be regulating authority while private sector will sell the fish meat. The project is named as ‘enhancing fish production and per capita fish consumption in Punjab’ having three different initiatives which include creating awareness among the masses about advantage of fish meat through seminars, workshops etc., imparting awareness to youth in Universities and Colleges and setting up the model outlets.

Positive response to these shops will lead to setting up of such outlets in all the districts,” said DG Fisheries Punjab Dr Sikender Hayat. The project is aimed at realizing the masses that fish can be taken round the year and it has more nutritious than mutton, beef or broiler chicken meat. Fish meat is also cheaper than red meat and increase in consumption of per capita per annum will save masses from different deficiencies and diseases, he added. Regarding the business model, he said the department will only provide the outlet ready to start business while private sector will be responsible to bring fish and sell it according to the SOPs set by the department. He said that the department will rent out the premises and also regulate the quality. He said those parties will be given preference who have processing plants to produce ready to cook value added fish meat products, farms and experience of the business. He added that preparations are underway and it is hoped that these model outlets will be ready before the coming fish season.