Fish production expected to reach 1.3 million tonnes: Minister

Muscat: Dr Saud bin Hamoud al Habsi, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, has said that total production of fisheries in the Sultanate is expected to reach 1.3 million tonnes, according to the plan devised by the Ministry to upgrade the fisheries sector.

In a statement , Dr Saud pointed out that the fisheries sector figures among the five sectors designated by the government as core components of economic diversification strategy.

Vocational fishing (espoused by conventional fishermen, not firms) accounts for 95% of the total output and there is a plan to expand the commercial fishing sector without prejudice to the rights of Omani fishermen who depend solely on fishing as a source of livelihood.

Fishing harbours, both along the Arabian Sea and Sea of Oman, will achieve the strategic vision of the Ministry, said the minister, who stressed the significance of the multipurpose fishing jetty at Duqm and the fishing jetty at Daba, currently under construction. All these ports, once fully utilized, will double the production of the Sultanate, said the minister, adding that the plan also includes the setting up of a fishing jetty at Al Shuwaimiya in the Wilayat of Shaleem-Al Halaniyat Islands and another port in in the Wilayat of Mahout.

Duqm fishing jetty is set to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2021, given the support offered by the alliance of Omani firms and the strategic partner from Lorient port of France, he added.

With trawlers operating in the high seas (away from vocational fishermen’s sites) under the supervision of Oman Investment Authority, Duqm fishing jetty is expected to offer support services to the fisheries sector, not only in Omani waters, but also to vessels operating in the Indian Ocean.

Until last October, the Sultanate’s production of fisheries stood at 607,978 tonnes, compared to 579,184 tonnes in 2019, said the minister.

So far, the Sultanate has 25 fishing harbours offering services to about 50,000 fishermen, using 24,000 boats and ships that unload a volume of 583,000 tonnes whose value is estimated at RO 276 million. –ONA

Oman Observer

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