Government to Develop Oman's Fishing Sector and Boost Exports01 August 2013
OMAN - The government of Oman is to develop and strengthen the country's fishing sector through a variety of projects totaling OMR500 million.
The plan aims to strengthen the industry and boost fish exports by properly evaluating fish stores and increasing the efficiency of the artisanal fishing fleet, reports TheOmanTimes.
Dr Fuad bin Jaafar Al Sajwani, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, said the ministry has plans to develop the fish marketing sector by launching a project to set up fish-selling shops as part of the plan to diversify fish outlets.
This project would underline the importance of marketing and how it is a crucial point in the interaction with the consumer.
Basim bin Abdullah Al Mukhaini, the project manager for diversification through fish market outlets at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, explained to the newspaper that the diversification of fish marketing outlets was particularly important in developing a fishery product chain that offers goods of high quality at reasonable prices.
He added that due to limited sale outlets, the ministry has intensified its efforts to encourage companies and citizens to invest in the open ports for marketing fish, and has provided support for some shops through a project funded by the ministry.
There are 42 outlets being run by young Omanis who received support. These projects include frozen fish and fresh fish refrigerators, fish cutters and the cooperative ice production units, in addition to supporting guiding and other facilities provided by the concerned authorities.
In order to ensure regular availability of fish all year round, Al Mukhaini said the fish shops will be made part of the subsidised system as part of the ministry's programme for fish marketing when there is scarcity of fish in the local fish markets, especially during the summer months and Ramadan.
Decline in production
On the other hand, the local markets in the Sultanate are experiencing a decline in fish production during the summer which leads to a significant increase in the price of fish, as indicated by official statistics that said the sector recorded 54 per cent consumption surplus over the past year.
It is worth mentioning that the government raised the financial allocations for the new projects approved for the agricultural and fisheries sectors during the Eighth Five-Year Plan from OMR150 million to OMR171.8 million. This amounts to 14.5 per cent of the total financial allocation approved when the current Five-Year Plan was adopted in 2011. Moreover, the number of projects also increased from 69 to 78 by the end of 2012. Observers believed that the upcoming projects in this sector can lead to a quantum leap.
Meanwhile, a number of consumers have expressed their happiness at the launch of the project. They explained that these stores featured a very welcome provision of providing services in the morning and evening periods, unlike the local markets.
They said that these shops provided fishes fresh preserved in a better fashion since these are run under the management of young Omanis and keep in mind the convenience of the customers.
TheFishSite News Desk