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Oman's Fishing Industry to get Major Boost

11 July 2012

OMAN - The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth is planning to issue 300 licences to 300 medium sized 14-30 metres multi-purpose fishing vessels owned by Omani fishermen.

Talking to Times of Oman Dr Hamed bin Said al Oufi, Under-Secretary (Fisheries Wealth) at the ministry, said: "This move will benefit the Omani fishermen and will also help other traditional fishermen to modernise their traditional fishing fleets so that they can venture deep into the sea. Quality fishing is yet another aspect that we are focusing on."

Dr Hamed bin Said al Oufi said that RO100 million allocated for the development of the fisheries sector in the current eighth Five Year Plan would be increased to RO150 million at a later stage. "What we are really aiming for is executing the plan efficiently."

"The majority of funds would go towards the infrastructure development which primarily includes building fishing ports in every coastal town. Currently, there are 21 fishing ports and six are being planned to be constructed in the next two to three years. In addition to infrastructure and fleet development, we are planning for development of markets; value added products and the processing sector," he added.

With a long coastline Oman has huge scope for further growth and investments in fisheries sector. Dr Hamed said: "We have big plans for aquaculture sector and very soon we would be inviting local and foreign investors to participate in this development. As of now, the aquaculture sector has not been exploited well with a miniscule catch of 200 tonnes. We propose to raise the output to 200,000 tonnes by 2030."

When asked if the Sultanate can achieve the $1-billion export target in the fisheries sector by 2030 leveraging on the government support and investments, the under-secretary was optimist and said: "Considering the plans and actions initiated we are very confident that the fisheries sector is poised for a massive growth. The fish processing sector is also geared up for development considering the lucrative export markets."

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