Artificial underwater reef in Musandam nears completion

Oman Tuesday 22/June/2021 20:48 PM
By: Times News Service
Artificial underwater reef in Musandam nears completion

Dibba:An artificial reef off the coast of Dibba in Oman’s northern region of Musandam is nearing completion. Once finished, the project intends to attract marine life with the aim of conserving them and helping them thrive.

The project is funded by the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Fund (AFDF) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources.

“We are completing the final stage of project to establish artificial reefs in the Governorate of Musandam, which was done through the landing of four units of artificial reef moulds in the sea off the Wilayat of Dibba, at locations that were previously identified in coordination with all relevant authorities,” said the AFDF in a statement.

Musandam’s landscape and rich waters offer many land and marine species the opportunity to thrive, according to the Environment Society of Oman (ESO), a non-government organisation that runs conservation and awareness programmes in the country.

The ragged coastline of the Musandam region, according to the ESO, includes spectacular cliffs that plunge into the sea along fjord-like inlets and promontories that characterise the region’s coast. The shelter afforded by the many khayran, harbour some of the most well-developed coral reefs in the country, whilst the cliffs themselves provide a roosting place for seabirds. Offshore, the seabed slopes gently southwards into the Gulf of Oman.

The AFDF is one of the main organisations supporting research and development of the agriculture, livestock, and fisheries sectors, through optimal use of resources and localising technologies.

“The fund has sought to finance quality projects with returns that contribute to the financial support of the fund, and the adoption of new concepts and standards in financing and implementing projects and ensuring sustainability,” said Hanan bint Saeed Al Sulaimiya, the fund’s Executive Director, speaking to Oman News Agency.

Four new projects in the agriculture and fisheries sectors received funding to the tune of OMR680,000 last year. Since the fund was first set up in 2004, it has funded and implemented 246 projects, at a total cost of OMR42.18 million.

The development of marine facilities in Musandam, to help grow the fisheries sector there, as well as promote the conservation of aquatic species, also includes the construction of a fishing port in the town of Lima. The development comes after a vehicle and cargo shipping service was installed at the port.