Duqm: Al Wusta enjoys a diverse marine wealth and is rich in shrimp, abalone, Kingfish, Emperor, Grouper and Seabream because of its long coastline overlooking the Arabian Sea. It is key to fish production in the Sultanate. Many of the citizens in the coastal wilayats in the Governorate of Al Wusta work in fishing and related professions such as transport and sale. The Department of Fisheries in the governorate facilitates and regulates fish trade. It also implements several projects to develop this sector including awareness campaigns and programmes among fishermen to enhance their efficiency in boosting catch as well as implementation of regulations and laws aimed at sustainable exploitation of marine wealth.
Hasan bin Hussein al Aghbari, Director of Fisheries Directorate in the Governorate of Al Wusta, said, “The fish catch in the Governorate of Al Wusta in 2017 reached more than 121,000 tonnes, the highest among the governorates, with a value of nearly RO 60 million and an increase in quantity by 47 per cent, compared to 2016.’’
He added that, “the fishing sector provides many employment opportunities in the governorate. More than 5,600 fishermen were registered in the governorate until the end of 2017 with 3,800 fishing boats, 580 fish-transport and marketing vehicles and 172 traditional fishing vessels.’’
He said the governorate has fishing harbours in Al Lakbi in the Wilayat of Al Jazir and the Wilayat of Masirah. Work is under way for the construction of a fishing harbour the Special Economic Zone in Duqm. It will be the biggest fishing harbour in the Sultanate.
On support and guidance in the Governorate of Al Wusta, and Masirah he said, ‘‘The Fisheries Directorate in the Governorate of Al Wusta, represented by the Department of Fisheries Development and Guidance, seeks to train fishermen in the governorate and enrol them in courses inside and outside the Sultanate, to communicate with the fishermen to refine their skills, to conduct lectures and meetings with the fishermen, and to provide the devices and tools that help them to perform their duties.
He said the directorate conducted 226 events including seminars, meetings, awareness lectures and exhibitions targeting about 735 fishermen and those interested fishing in the governorate’s coastal wilayats of Mahout, Duqm, Jazir and the Wilayat of Masirah.
The directorate solves the problems facing the fishermen and identify their needs and provide facilities for them in landing sites and marketing fish. Among the successful projects for the management of the fisheries in the Al Wusta is “Fishermen’s Complex” in Ras Madrakah, which benefits about 215 traditional fishermen, boat owners and others in the governorates of Al Sharqiyah and Al Batinah. The number of fishermen in the project are 150 and the catch amounted to 120 tonnes worth about RO 100,000 in 2018. The catch included Kingfish, yellowfin Tuna, lobster, Emperor, Grouper, cuttlefish, cod, Indian Mackerel and Seabream.
Al Aghbari said, “661 violations have been booked in the governorate’s wilayats and the Wilayat of Masirah, including migrant workers engaged in illegal fishing, illegal nets, fishing of lobster and shrimps during ban and dumping waste into the sea.”
It is noteworthy that the directorate in the Governorate of Al Wusta has 4 centres in Mahout, Duqm, Jazir and Masirah. — ONA