Muscat: The Board of Directors of Fisheries Development Oman company approved the company's five-year plan (2020-2025).
It also approved a number of projects in the field of aquaculture that will contribute to the development of the fisheries sector as one of the promising sectors to contribute to the economic diversification, whether in raising government revenues, Omani exports, or employment.
The meeting was chaired by Dr. Saud bin Hamoud Al Habsi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for Fisheries, Board Chairman of the Fisheries Development Oman company.
The meeting reviewed a study report by the Founding Committee, in addition to the planned programmes and activities and following-up their implementation mechanism.
The company is one of the investments of the Oman Investment Authority (OIA) after the consolidation of three of its investment initiatives in the field of fisheries, namely Blue Water LLC, Al Wusta Fishery Industries, and Oceanic Shrimp Aquaculture LLC.
Khalid bin Ali Al Yahmadi, CEO of Fisheries Development Oman company said, "The strategic plan of the company is based on four main objectives namely finding the infrastructure to the company's projects to develop aquaculture in the Sultanate, including hatchery projects and feed factories. The second theme aims to develop local capabilities to manage the sector and the future leadership of the company's projects in coordination with universities, colleges and others to train young people and refine their skills and knowledge, in addition to on-job training. The third theme deals with research, studies and development in the sector with regard to the types of fish that are cultivated in the Sultanate in terms of selecting the appropriate species that are suitable to the nature of the place, its characteristics and economics, as well as developing research related to the used fish feed. The fourth theme deals with opening marketing outlets to ensure marketing safe, sustainable and of high quality fish at the local and global levels."
He added, "Among the important projects approved by the Board of Directors at its meeting is the shrimp aquaculture project in the Bar Al Hikman in the Governorate of Al Wusta, which will be implemented by Oceanic Shrimp Aquaculture LLC in November 2023. The project will be implemented on an area of 30,000 hectares, in three different stages with a production capacity of 215,000 tonnes of shrimps upon completion of these stages. It will be considered the largest project of this size in the Middle East. The investment cost of the project is about OMR500 million. It is currently in the environmental studies stage. It will provide 9,000 job opportunities after the completion of the other stages."
He further said, "The Board also approved a project for shrimp aquaculture in the Khuwaimah in the Wilayat of Ja'alan Bani Bu Ali, with a production capacity of 3,300 tonnes and an investment cost of OMR13 million. The project will provide 140 jobs. The construction works will start in July 2020 and expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. The Board also approved the expansion of the floating cages project in Quriyat, which is supervised by the Blue Waters Company, with a production capacity of 5,000 tonnes of Seabream fish in 2023.The farm is currently producing 2000 tons annually and employs 44 Omanis. The number will reach 123 citizens in 2023. They will be qualified and trained to lead most of the projects of the company."
With regard to commercial fishing under the umbrella of Al Wusta Fishery Industries Company, he pointed out that it was approved to build two tuna fishing vessels with a fishing capacity of about 10,000 tonnes for each vessel. They are expected to be completed in 2023 and will start fishing in the Indian Ocean. He added that three vessels were approved for Pelagics fishing with a capacity fishing of 60,000 tonnes annually