Muscat: Oman is taking several major steps to develop fisheries sector to make the country a hub for the region, said the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.
“We are trying to build Oman as a hub for fisheries in the region because of availability of fish from the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea,” Dr Fuad bin Jaafar Al Sajwani, told Times of Oman.
“We have the opportunity to develop this sector further,” minster asserted.
According to him, fisheries sector is one of the promising sectors in the Sultanate.
“Fisheries sector is a very promising sector because we have got the opportunities, facilities, long coastal areas, and different species of fish in the Sultanate,” Al Sajwani said.
He also confirmed that the production of fisheries sector is also growing in a good manner and major part of the production is exported.
Speaking on how the ministry is encouraging the international investment in the field of fisheries and agriculture in Oman the minster said; “We (Oman) have an investment regime that is favourable to foreign investors in the agriculture and fisheries sector.”
“We have a stable political and legal environment, excellent infrastructure connecting Oman to all major international destinations and several other reasons to attract the foreign investment,” he added.
The minister also said that the ministry has dedicated staff and departments to assist potential investors, find partners and negotiate contracts in Oman for supporting new projects.
According to him, the fisheries sector is almost dominated by Omanis.
“(As many as) 99 per cent of the jobs in the sector are handled by the people of Oman and Omanis are ready to accept these jobs,” he added.
“I am happy to see the continuing growth in the percentage of Omani workers in the fisheries sector,” the minister noted.
Speaking on how to attract young Omanis to the fisheries sector he said; “Every year, we give licenses to attract young Omani nationals; we issue around 2,000 licenses to attract more Omanis to the sector.”
“This is something that is very valuable because it create good job opportunities for the people of Oman, income, social stability in the country,” the minster added.
Times of Omanearlier reported the need for setting up of central fish markets in the Salalah, Sohar, Musandam and Muscat governorates.
Said Al Rawahi, general manager of Oman Fisheries Company, earlier suggested that all catches that come from fishermen or fishing firms should be sold in the domestic market through an auction in the central fish market and the fish market should be leased to the private sector for managing operations. Presently, Oman has a central fish market in Barka, which is managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
He also suggested the government to establish a new company to run those facilities and then regulate the operations.