DUQM: The Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD) has decided to increase the depth of the fishing harbour by 10 metres instead of 6 to prepare the port to attract large fishing vessels operating on high seas, in addition to increasing the economic value of the port, which will become the first port in the Sultanate to reach that depth.
In an interview with Oman News Agency (ONA), Yahya bin Saeed al Jabri, Chairman of the SEZAD, said that the decision comes in line with the development of commercial fishing in the world, and added that the depth of the harbour is in line with the requirements of this sector as there are ships equipped for fishing purposes or for the purpose of exporting fish, which need a basin deeper than 6 metres, hence the
idea is to increase the basin depth to 10 metres.
He said that the Duqm zone is working to make Duqm fishing harbour one of the regional ports capable of providing various services needed by large fishing vessels and thus contributing to enhancing the performance of fisheries industries near the harbour, which aims to make Duqm a key centre for fish industry in the Sultanate.
The work on the fishing harbour is currently progressing and the more than 500 employees are working at the site. The harbour will be ready
by the end of next year or the beginning of 2021.
Speaking of the economic importance of the fishing harbour in Duqm, Al Jabri said that the harbour is one of the most important components of the special economic zone. He added that the fisheries sector in Duqm is one of the most promising sectors in the region, as the region has a large stock of fish wealth which takes care of the
needs of the the region.
He added: “Therefore, since the beginning of planning of the economic zone, the government has endeavoured to establish a fishing harbour and a nearby fish industries area so that the harbour and the region will activate services related to fish wealth.”
On a question related to investment projects that will be established in the fisheries industry, Al Jabri said: “The region is witnessing a keen interest from investors, and there is an acceleration of investment in the region despite lack of readiness of the fishing harbour.”
Al Jabri said that there are already four factories, three of them have already started production and the forth will be operational this year. Apart from this, four more are under construction, in addition to 12 companies which have signed usufruct agreements with SEZAD to establish specialised factories for sardine, feed, fish oil and fish packaging industries.
As for as the integration of the operations of the fishing harbour and the port of Duqm is concerned, Al Jabri said the SEZAD is working to enable the fishing harbour to carry out commercial operations, but if the need to export larger quantities on board giant vessels, Duqm commercial port will be ready for such operations as it has a deeper draft in comparison to the fishing harbour, as the depth of the port basin is 18 metres and this will help large commercial operations which need larger berths.
He said that the special economic zone is equipped with other facilities serving the fishing harbour, such as Duqm Airport, which can — through cargo building — contribute to faster export of fish and it is close to fisheries industries. — ONA