State Council discusses Draft Law of Living Aquatic Wealth

MUSCAT: The Draft Law of the Living Aquatic Wealth transmitted by the Council of Ministers to the State Council, along with the report of the Economic Committee of the State Council and report of Majlis Ash’shura were extensively discussed at the 10th regular session chaired by Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Mantheri, Chairman of the State Council, and held in the presence of the Council members and the Secretary-General of the Council.
The Head of the Economic Committee of the Council presented the Committee’s statement on the draft law. The main features of the law include changing the law of marine fishing and protecting living aquatic resources to the law of living water resources.
The old law goes beyond the scope of its application to aquatic resources, while the new one includes, besides living aquatic resources, activities related to fishing such as transport, marketing, processing and export. The draft law has introduced a chapter on artisanal fishing, which includes provisions governing of this sector.
The meeting was attended by members of the Council, who stressed the importance of the law in strengthening the national economy, considering that the fisheries sector is one of the most promising sectors in the success of the Sultanate’s orientations towards economic diversification.
The draft law also sets out an independent chapter for the coastal fishing sector as a new sector through which the ministry aims to achieve a qualitative leap for the fishing sector.
The Head of the Economic Committee noted that the first chapter guarantees special provisions for the research, encouraging and supporting centres of scientific research and the development of international cooperation in the field of scientific research. Chapter four of the draft law was devoted to the commercial fishing sector, which is one of the complementary courses for other fishing sectors.
According to the Head of the Economic Committee, the fifth chapter included the provisions governing aquaculture. It also stipulated that the ministry should encourage and establish aquaculture farms, provide supervision and technical assistance and identify areas suitable for fish farming.
The 11th regular session today will discuss a proposal submitted by the Committee of Culture, Information and Tourism on the challenges facing traditional crafts and ways of addressing them.