Muscat: The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, and Fisheries Development Oman (FDO) Company celebrated laying the foundation of the tuna fishing vessels at the Indian Ocean.
The vessels, owned by Al Wusta Fishery Industries, aim to catch 20,000 tons of different tuna fish annually in the first phase. The catch will enable the Sultanate of Oman to get its share of the living aquatic resources in the international waters of the Indian Ocean. In Oman, fisheries, which, is one of the vital sources of national income for the Sultanate of Oman, is the second source of national income after oil.
The celebration, which was held in the Zamakona Basin in Bilbao, Kingdom of Spain, was attended by Eng. Yaqoob Khalfan Al Busaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources for Fisheries, Nasser Sulaiman Al Harthy, Chairman of Fisheries Development Oman Company and several officials in the Spanish company.
Commenting on the ceremony, Eng. Al Busaidi said, “The Ministry seeks to develop the fisheries sector, through its strategic plan within Oman's Vision 2040. It also aims to increase the return from increasing fish production and raising its added value through the commercial fishing program that was launched in 2018. The program aims to raise the efficiency and sustainability of the sector, protect natural fisheries from depletion, and provide safe supplies of fish products for local consumption. The program also aims to increase private sector investments and attract foreign investments in fisheries industries. The first phase aims to catch 20,000 tons of different tuna fish annually.”
On this occasion, Nasser Al Harthy, FDO’s Chairman said, “The company aims to develop the fisheries sector in the Sultanate of Oman and increase its contribution to the gross domestic product GDP. FDO is implementing a set of projects that will add value and enhance the performance of its subsidiaries. Moreover, building a tuna fishing fleet will contribute to achieving internal sufficiency in tuna besides providing quantities for export and achieving financial sustainability.”
The fleet, which is being built for Al Wusta Fishery Industries, includes 85 meters long and 1,800 cubic metres wide vessels that will be used for catching tuna of various kinds in the Indian Ocean. The tuna fishing vessels, which are designed as per the highest international standards, include fish processing lines of -20 degrees and a processing line for high-quality tuna to deliver the products to international markets.
Fisheries Development Oman Company, owned by the Oman Investment Authority along with the Ministry of Agriculture, continue their efforts to develop the marine fishing system in the Sultanate of Oman. FDO is also endeavouring to develop the fisheries sector, which is one of the main pillars within Oman Vision 2040, by supporting its marine fleet with specialized vessels equipped with the latest systems and equipment. It is expected that these efforts will contribute to increasing commercial fishing activity and establishing projects that enhance economic diversification efforts.
Al Wusta Fishery Industries Company is one of the initiatives of the National Program for Economic Diversification “Tanfeedh” and one of the outputs of the fisheries laboratories. The establishment of the company comes in line with Oman Vision 2040 which promotes the optimal use of fish resources, creating investment, training and employment opportunities for the national workforce and enhancing the added value of resources local. Al Wusta Fishery Industries Company - in coordination and cooperation with the relevant authorities - also seeks to establish a commercial fishing fleet that can utilise the natural resources in the Omani regional waters and the Indian Ocean, luring investments to the fisheries sector, increase fish production and collect research data.