Salalah: Fish production in the Governorate of Dhofar stood at about 30,587 tonnes in 2013, of which ground fish accounted for over 40 per cent, followed by large pelagic fish at about 20 per cent.
The Governorate is known for its rare species of molluscs and crustaceans, such as Abalone of which, 54 tonnes were fished in 2012.
Lobster production in the Governorate stood at 153 tonnes, or 69 per cent of the total fish yield in 2013. The squid production reached 1,153 tonnes last year. The Emperor, Large Jack, small sharks locally called 'Gargoor,' and sardines constituted the largest proportion.
Fisheries is one of the most important production sectors in the Governorate of Dhofar, with its long coast along the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Dr Alawi bin Salim Al Hafidh, Director General of Fisheries in the Governorate of Dhofar, said in a statement to the Oman News Agency (ONA) that a large number of people in the governorate were working in the fisheries sector and related occupations. This has helped in strengthening allied industries in this sector to serve the local community and support the national economy.
He added that the number of fishermen in 2013 stood at 10,501, compared to 10,252 in 2012.
In addition to the workers serving in other fishing activities such as marketing, specialised plants, maritime workshops, stores selling fishing and other supplies, the number of fishing boats in the Governorate of Dhofar stood at 4,449 in 2013, compared with 3,983 in 2012.
Al Hafidh pointed out that fishing ports are one of the important infrastructure projects that enjoyed focussed attention of the government within the framework of the five-year plan, on the basis that the provision of the basic services for fishermen and the protection of their fishing boats and vessels , would help them to practice fishing safely.
He added that the plans of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries include construction of new ports in the wilayats of Rakhyut, Sadah, Al Halaniyat Islands, development of the existing ports with several services and utilities for fishermen such as fish markets, ice plants, marine equipment maintenance workshops, gas stations and fish stores, all are run by the private sector.
He added that the fishing ports contribute to the development of the fishing communities by providing services, projects and job opportunities. He said that there were three existing fishing harbours in Salalah, Dhalkut and Mirbat. The first stage of the construction of the Taqah fishing harbour was being implemented in coordination with the concerned authorities to receive the ports of Al Halaniyat Islands (under construction) and the port of Hasik.