MUSCAT: As part of Oman’s economic diversification plan, the fisheries sectors labs were launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with the Implementation and Follow-up Unit.
The labs, which will run until October 26, were launched under the auspices of Dr Ali bin Masud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry.
Addressing the gathering, the minister said: “Fisheries is one of the key sectors in the current five-year plan.
The labs are a continuation of the similar labs for the industry and tourism sectors.”
He said the fisheries labs will be followed by another lab on mineral wealth.
“Fisheries labs are part of a plan based on a strategy approved by the government. This strategy takes into consideration the stages of fishing, aquaculture, fish processing and international marketing,” he told reporters.
The labs will focus on locations for aquaculture and developing the capacity of existing ports.
“The Supreme Council for Planning has approved private investment in Diba Port. Two more ports are under consideration. With these three ports, the Sultanate will have an integrated system comprising 24 ports,” he said.
Dr Hamad bin Said al Oufi, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, said the ministry has developed a roadmap for development of fisheries
sector and ensure its sustainability up to 2040.
A number of policies, programmes and measures have been proposed to benefit from the available resources in enhancing the food security system and contributing to economic diversification.
The strategy has been developed in coordination between the national team and the World Bank.
During the labs, participants will discuss issues related to the fisheries sector and means to overcome challenges. They will also develop a clear-cut plan with a specific timetable for implementation.
Participants will focus on three main activities: aquaculture and fishing — commercial and traditional, processing and finally export.
A number of experts from the public and private sector are taking part.
The labs are expected to come out with a number of initiatives that will help increase the contribution of fisheries to the GDP, increase the value of fish products and generate job opportunities for Omanis.
The total fish production has seen a significant increase — one million tonnes worth RO 975 million — from 2011 to 2016. — ONA