Muscat: Fisheries is one of the most important sectors in the Sultanate of Oman for its contribution to food security, the gross domestic product, and for the ability to provide job opportunities for Omanis.
Engineer Yaqoub bin Khalfan al Busaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, said that the fishing sector is one of the five pillars of the national program for economic diversification.
The fisheries sector witnessed continuous growth in the last few years, as fish production in 2020 was estimated to be 840,000, with a growth rate of 44.5 percent. There was an increase of 19 percent in the production value, which was estimated to be RO365 million.
The Undersecretary said that fisheries are one of the fastest-growing food production sectors in the world, growing at a rate of four percent annually. He said that taking into account the population growth of the next two decades, an additional 40 million tonnes of seafood will be needed by 2025 to meet the current individual consumption requirements.
He said the real breakthrough in the development of fish farming started during the eighth five-year plan (2011-2015 when private sector companies submitted requests to establish fish farming projects (shrimp) in different governorates. The integrated aquaculture production during the years of the plan reached 1,130 tons with a total value of RO2.7 million. The total production during the years of the ninth five-year plan (2016-2020) increased to 1,685 tonnes with a value of RO3.2 million by the end of 2019.
It is expected that the production capacity with the completion of the projects by 2025 will reach 34,734 tons. As for the integrated farming projects, the number of integrated farms reached 22 by 2020. The production of these fish farms increased from four tonnes in 2014 to 229.5 tonnes in 2020, a growth rate of 89 percent.