Skip to Content

latest news

scroll

A country on the cusp of becoming a world leader in fisheries

For hundreds of years, Oman’s wealth of natural aquaculture and fishing resources has generated prosperity for a nation with one of the longest – and most fertile – coastlines in the world. Today, Oman’s fisheries industry has undergone a technological renaissance – transforming from a once predominantly artisanal sector, into a burgeoning world class “blue economy”.

Set on the profitable axis of the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, Oman’s warm climate allows year round fishing of more than 1000 species along 3165 km of pristine coastline, including internationally renowned tuna resources. The total value of Oman’s fish stock was USD 554,293 million in 2018, representing a growth of 15.9 per cent over USD 478,447 million in 2017 – making the country’s fishing industry the largest in the GCC.

According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the total quantity of fish landed in the Sultanate reached 302,541 tonnes by the end of October 2018 – a rise of more than 20 per cent in one year. One of the only countries in the world to keep its fish resources at a constant, Oman is also a regional gateway to huge and growing markets for seafood in the Middle East, India and East Africa.

The government has invested more than USD 800 million in 35 fisheries-related ventures, and USD 135 million more in 92 integrated agriculture and fisheries schemes, accelerating the already rapid growth of one of the country’s most prosperous and high-potential investment sectors.

A new cold store facility at Muscat airport, developed in partnership with Singapore, is helping grow export demand – with lucrative European and Asian markets no more than a 7 hour flight away. Indeed, cold storage presents an enormous opportunity across the whole of Oman – with ever-increasing demand from manufacturers to maximize the amount of produce that can be exported to the GCC and further afield.

Earlier this year, the Oman Investment Fund (OIF) announced the creation of the Al Wusta Fisheries Industry Company, which will become Oman’s largest fishing company and target an annual catch of 40,000 tonnes of tuna and a daily catch of 1,000 tonnes from small pelagic fisheries – contributing an estimated USD 239,271 (million?) to the blue economy and creating 900 jobs.

Another government-led initiative was the formation of the Oman Aquaculture Development Company (OADC) in 2014 with a mission to boost global competitiveness through targeted investment in gold standard aquaculture infrastructure. Today, two OADC subsidiaries, the Blue Waters Company and Oceanic Shrimp Aquaculture, are developing Oman’s fin fish, most notably tuna, and shrimp aquaculture technology, respectively, bringing in an additional projected catch of more than 15,000,000 per year.

Supporting Oman’s leaders of tomorrow looking to forge a sustainable career in the fishery and aquaculture industry is also a key focus of the Sultanate. Multiple youth initiatives have been launched to help train and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs that will shape the sustainable fisheries industry and fish production of the future. This includes education into the dangers of overfishing, and the need to minimize disruption to the life cycle of fish populations, food chain and imbalance in the local marine ecosystem, especially with hamour, a fish popular across the United Arab Emirates and wider Gulf region.

Oman’s SME Development Fund (SMEF) helps incubate small and medium sized business through incubation, angel investing and training – including through collaborations with world leading institutions such as Harvard University and Singapore National University.

Meanwhile, multiple fisheries and aquaculture research groups at Oman’s own Sultan Qaboos University are focused on improving future food security through ecological conservation. Just last month April one group made headlines after successfully hatching one of the most sought-after species in the ornamental fish industry: the remarkable electric blue crayfish.

From renowned academics in partner nations like Norway, to global institutions like the World Bank, the fisheries industry in Oman is earning the respect it deserves and emerging as a world leader in ecologically sustainable modern fishing.

Key Facts:

• Oman’s warm climate allows year-round fishing of more than 1000 species along 3,165 km of pristine coastline.

• The total value of Oman’s fish stock was USD 554,293 million in 2018, representing growth of 15.9 per cent over USD 478,447 million in 2017 alone.

• According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the total quantity of fish landed in the Sultanate reached 302,541 tonnes by the end of October 2018 – a rise of more than 20 per cent in one year.

• The government has invested more than USD 800 million in 35 fisheries related ventures, and USD 135 million more in 92 integrated agriculture and fisheries schemes, accelerating the rapid growth of one of Oman’s most prosperous and high-potential investment sectors

• The Blue Waters Company and Oceanic Shrimp Aquaculture, are developing Oman’s fin fish and shrimp aquaculture technology, respectively, bringing in an additional projected catch of more than 15,000,000 per year.

• Multiple fisheries and aquaculture research groups at Oman’s own Sultan Qaboos University are focused on improving future food security through ecological conservation. In April 2019 one group made headlines after successfully hatching one of the most sought-after species in the ornamental fish industry: the remarkable electric blue crayfish.

• A new cold store facility at Muscat airport, developed in partnership with Singapore, is helping grow export demand – with lucrative European and Asian markets no more than a 7 hour flight away.
Share

Other news

OLC Welcomes more than 50 Industry Leaders to Research and Development Workshops

Oman Logistics Center (OLC) in collaboration with Ejaad the virtual collaborative platform where industry, academia and government engage in applied research, have successfully conducted a logistics-focused workshop for over 50 stakeholders.

Read more

KEC signs agreement to establish Khazaen dry port

His Excellency Ahmed Al Futaisi witnessed today KEC entering a $10 million agreement.

Read more

Oman – The Middle East’s New Automotive Hub

Ignite: Oman is fast emerging as the region’s new automotive hub.

Read more