The Sultanate achieved remarkable growth in fish production. With an annual growth rate of about 19 per cent, the total fish output stands at about 580,000 tonnes.
“Its geographical location and the length of its coastal strip in the region distinguishes the Sultanate. It attributes high production of small-sized pelagic fish that contributes 62 per cent of the artisanal fishing production in the Sultanate” said Dr Fatima bint Rashid al Kiyumiyah, Director General of Fisheries Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, on the occasion of World Oceans Day.
She stressed that the importance that the Sultanate attaches to its relationship with regional countries in the Indian Ocean has its role in the country’s economic, social, civilisational and cultural development.
Additionally, the Sultanate’s political history, where there are elements of positive development, is evident in the country’s diverse richness of communities.
“This also reflects the Royal approach followed in the Sultanate of Oman with the countries of the Indian Ocean to highlight these aspects and embody this relationship and its continuity, develop communication and brotherhood, and consolidate them within the generations” she added.
The Sultanate is also a member of the Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment known as ROPME, which is dedicated to protecting the marine environment in the organisation’s work area for the Gulf States, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq.
The United Nations Environment Programme helps prevent marine pollution in the region. It is also concerned with issues of the marine environment of the region’s countries and the development of appropriate strategies and mechanisms to combat or reduce them.
Suleiman bin Nasser al Akhzami, Director General of Nature Conservation at the Environment Authority, laid out the priorities to protect the marine environment and management of coastal areas.
“It is about preventing further deterioration in the coastal environment, restoring degraded areas to normal, conducting studies and research for the potential impacts on the marine environment and its natural resources, besides continuous monitoring of the coastal environment to ensure its preservation, coastal land-use planning, public awareness and citizens’ involvement in the protection of coastal resources.”
He noted that “one of the factors limiting the protection of the marine environment is the acute shortage of qualified technical human cadres and modern technologies. “
However, it is essential to support the efforts of the relevant authorities with more human and material capabilities. It is important due to the expansion of the territorial waters of the Sultanate. The coastal region witnesses the impact of the accelerated development either through the establishment of free industrial zones, commercial ports, fishing ports, marinas and tourist resorts, or through urban development and impact on coral reefs, through traditional fishing methods, like throwing of nets as well as the damage caused by diving” he added.