Starting from Clifton Beach of Karachi till Kund Malir and Omara Beach at Gawadar, we talk about the scenic beauty, silver sand, camel and horse riding, water sports, boating, fishing but what we should not miss and is common in all these beaches is the Sea Shells at the sea shore and sand.
The Sea Shell is the most beautiful, precious, and unique, worth collecting, luring, and a gift by nature that pleases the visitor’s eyes. No visitor returns from the Beach without this collectible, it is found in bulk at almost every beach from Karachi till Gawadar. For some it is a hobby to search for different kind of sea shells collect them and fill glass jars, trays or decorate at the tables. It is very common among youngsters to take bags full of sea shells and then distribute them in friends and relatives. After spending whole day at the beach bathing in sea, playing water sports, riding, fishing finally this is the last thing before going home that everybody likes to do.
However this sea shell collection is not only limited to families and individuals as hobby or leisure, it has become a big business in Pakistan. There are specific people, they are the sea shell collectors, they roam around the sea shore and look for sea shells which should not be broken, of different shapes, size and color, and they get them in bulk and bring them to their places. Then the Sea Shells are cleaned with chemicals, so as to get rid of the salty smell, sometimes they are varnished and polished so they become nimble and spark. The real game begins with the cleaned and polished shells since they are utilized to create decoration pieces, sea shell wearable like necklace, earrings, rings, useful stuff like paper weight and even toys. This business is operated from fishermen, residents near the beaches who live in small colonies and communities to big companies who get the work done from these simple yet creative people and exports the artistic stuff to cities and rest of the world.
During the last few decades, the seas shell collectibles and show pieces business progresses. There was a time when this business was limited to the kiosks, fun fairs, and bazaars near the beach but with the passage of time more people and companies started to invest in it and now it has become a reasonable sea shell collectibles and wearable industry.
The untiring and creative efforts of sea shell skilled workers can be seen in the form of wearable for women which includes earrings, bracelets, rings, anklets’, necklace etc, the decoration items are available in wide range from a simple paper weight made of carved, polishes, painted shell to photo frames, wall hangings with different pictures and even calligraphy, some craftsmen are so skilled in their work that they are able to design lamps, vases, pen holders and pen made with carved, and very small size sea shells, this work is done so neatly that it sometimes surprise and astonish the viewer.
Though Sea Shells are free and can be collected easily from the sea shore the cleaning, polishing, coloring and sometimes cutting the sea shells to create something innovative is a difficult and time consuming task. The Sea Shell objects industry is not as big as the fish export industry in Pakistan but it can grow and can bring a good ROI , all it needs is investment, a bit effort to bring it on front, and to market the products that includes sea shells.