MUSCAT: The Aquaculture Committee at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries held its 4th meeting for this year under the chairmanship of Dr Hamad bin Said al Aufi, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, on Monday. The meeting reviewed the current situation of integrated aquaculture projects which has produced 179 tonnes of tilapia with a total cost of RO 268,000 this year, a 76.4 per cent increase compared with the previous year. There are currently 19 licensed tilapia producing fish farms. The committee gave an initial approval for four aquaculture projects the establishment of which begin next year. There is currently one project for producing ornamental fish in fresh water.
The production from commercial aquaculture projects has reached 813 tonnes of long finned seabream this year compared with 350 tonnes produced in 2018. The value of production from floating cages in the Wilayat of Qurayat stood at RO 1,626,000. The committee reviewed the workflow of the existing projects as well as implementation stages of the projects under construction. The first phase of the shrimp aquaculture project has reached an implementation rate of 80 per cent with the floating cages expected to become operational in March 2020. Besides, a project for producing abalone is expected to commence operations in the course of the next year. The committee members decided to cancel some projects and float them for retendering due to the owners’ failure to execute them.