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Over 4,200 violations of marine fishing law reported in 2020

20 Mar 2021 By MOHAMMED TAHA

Over 4,200 violations of the Marine Fishing Law and Protection of Living Aquatic Resources were registered in the sultanate in 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) . 

Speaking to Muscat Daily, an MAFWR official said specialists in the ministry arrested 492 expatriates for violating provisions of the Marine Fishing Law and Protection of Living Aquatic Resources in 2020. 

“They also registered 4,298 violations. They included non-compliance with the regulations of Marine Fishing Law, 2,875 violations of fishing licensing regulations, 408 cases of the use of prohibited fishing methods and possession of unauthorised equipment, 111 violations of fishing in prohibited areas and times, 156 cases of the employment of unlicensed expatriate workers, and 364 instances of non-compliance with the placement of plates on boats and ships and 237 various other violations,” he added. 

As per the official 2,086 sets of equipment were seized which included boat, engines, nets and devices. The specialists also seized more than 4.7 tonnes of fish and marine resources that were caught and traded during the prohibited seasons in 2020. 

Talking about the MAFWR’s efforts to reduce violations, he said, “The ministry organises monitoring campaigns in cooperation with the relevant authorities, such as the Coast Guard of the Royal Oman Police, the Royal Oman Navy, the Maritime Security Centre and the Ministry of Labor in all fishing sites and living aquatic resources.” 

The ministry’s work includes monitoring fishing craft, coastal and commercial activities, selling live aquatic resources in the local markets, controlling fish exports through land, sea and air ports and monitoring commercial fishing fleet through the electronic tracking system linked to satellites.

Campaigns aim to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. The ministry’s Fisheries Control Operations Room also uses modern technology in its work by using satellites and applying a remote sensing system to monitor the movement of commercial and coastal fishing vessels. 

Talking about the monitoring campaigns, the official said in 2019, the ministry seized more than 5,500 illegal expat workers and took legal measures against them including deportation for some of them and correct the conditions for others.  

“In 2020, joint campaigns stopped due to the pandemic, but the ministry is coordinating with the concerned authorities to implement the campaigns during the current year.” 

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