Beaches beset with ‘dead’ fish crisis

The marine control team in Muscat governorate has been taking action against a number of fisherman for negligence and violations. They have been conducting their activities with a proper license and throwing fish on the beach in the Qurm beach area. The violators will be referred to the public prosecution to complete the necessary legal procedures, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said in a statement.

The fishermen have been accused of using a method that employs a fishing net called a seine, that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat.

The “illegal methods” employed by fishermen are to blame for the fish deaths in Seeb coastline, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said. A large number of dead fish had been found on the shores. In a statement, the ministry said the fishermen on lookout for specific species of fish dump the “unwanted fish” caught by them on the shores.
Such practices, it has said, are contrary to the laws of fishing. It has issued regulations for the use of nets for fishing under ministerial decision No 245/2016. The ministry has urged all fishermen to refrain from wrongful and illegal practices and to preserve marine resources. The ministry said some reports linked the fish deaths to natural factors such as the red tide phenomenon or marine pollution.