Oman reaffirms commitment to combat illegal fishing activity

Business Tuesday 12/July/2016 22:33 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman reaffirms commitment to combat illegal fishing activity

Rome: In a bid to combat illegal fishing, Oman is ready to cooperate with the international community to get rid of the practice of illegal fishing.
Dr. Fouad Al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, headed the delegation representing the Sultanate in the 32nd conference for fishing in Rome which started on July 11 and will go on until July 15.
“The Sultanate, being the first in the Middle East and North Africa region, joined the Port State Agreement since 28 April 2013 and by order from the Royal Decree 26/2013, in order to prevent and combat illegal fishing which is depleting our marine resources that the Sultanate considers of importance to the food security of the country and economy,” said Al Sajwani.
He assured that the Sultanate is ready to cooperate to fulfill the agreement while also highlighting the necessity of combating illegal fishing while cooperating with internationally under the umbrella of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
About the agreement, Al Sajwani said, “It aims at decreasing the chance for smugglers from the safe and responsible advantage for these resources.
“This is a clear message to all, there is no room to use other country’s ports and market your products in unofficial methods because they (ports) have become under the Port States monitor.”
“With that being said, no fishing vessel will be able to enter the ports before obtaining prior permission to enter the specified for any reason and will have be subjected to inspecting their fishing equipment registrations and documents.”
Spontaneous fishing, according to FAO statistics, show 25 million tons of fish caught while illegal fish trade makes more than $23 billion annually which Al Sajwani said that efforts must be intensified.
Bilateral meeting
Dr. Fouad met with the South Korean Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, on the sidelines of the meeting.
The two sides discussed issues of mutual interest and areas of cooperation. Dr. Al Sajwani touched on available investment opportunities in the fisheries sector and the potentials of aquaculture in the Sultanate.
The South Korean Minister expressed interest in cooperation in these aspects, reviewing his country’s project to create a fisheries university, in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which has put the required financial resources, hoping that the world would support this approach.
Dr. Al Sajwani welcomed this vital project due to its great importance in the development of the sector especially with regard to the research side.