Municipality warns against dumping of rotten fish on shores

Muscat, Sept 11 – The Directorate General of Muscat Municipality has warned against dumping of rotten fish on the shores. Reacting to complaints from citizens about unpleasant odor originating from the beaches in Seeb, the municipality, in a statement on Tuesday, said the fishermen have been found dumping rotten fish on the shores, which will impact the health of nearby residents and beachgoers. “Such unacceptable behaviour leads to environmental pollution as stray dogs and insects feed on the rotten fish dumped by fishermen,” it said. The municipality said it has made all efforts by employing manpower as well as necessary equipment to transport and dispose of fish and help keep beaches “clean and free from contaminants”.

Specialists at the Department of Health Affairs in Directorate General of Muscat Municipality in Seeb said besides health concerns, such actions by fishermen have made beaches unusable for family gatherings, walking, and sport/ recreational activities. The municipality has called upon the authorities and the local community to raise environmental awareness among citizens and owners of fishing boats. In March, a large quantity of dead fish had washed up on the beach at Seeb. Then, the fishermen were accused of using a fishing net called ‘seine’, which hangs vertically in water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats.

The “illegal methods” employed by fishermen are to blame for the fish deaths on Seeb coastline, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said in its statement. Such practices, it is said, are contrary to the laws of fishing. The ministry has urged all fishermen to refrain from wrongful and illegal practices and to preserve marine resources. It said some reports linked the fish deaths to natural factors such as the red tide phenomenon or marine pollution.

Vinod Nair

Oman Observer