Fine of up to RO5,000 for fishing violations
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) has announced that the lobster fishing season for 2021 will end on May 31 in Dhofar, Al Wusta and South Sharqiyah. The lobster fishing season is important for many fishermen in these governorates.
“The ministry calls all fishermen, companies and individuals to register their lobster catch during the fishing season. No individual or organisation is allowed to trade in or export lobster after the end of the season unless registered with the ministry,” an MAFWR official said.
“The lobster fishing season in the sultanate is from March to May. Lobster is an important marine resource due to its high value and increasing demand in local and international markets. We have conducted several awareness campaigns through lectures and programmes for artisanal fishermen to educate them on the laws and regulations and ways to preserve this natural resource. “
According to the official, the ministry ensures fishermen follow the lobster season and obey the fishing ban during the crustaceans’ fertilisation and breeding period from May to February each year.
“The ministry urges individuals and companies to abide by the Living Aquatic Resources Law. The law punishes violations of fishing and possessing lobster during the ban period with a fine ranging from RO300 to RO5,000, imprisonment for a period of one to three months or both with confiscation of the catch and equipment used and temporary or permanent suspension of fishing licence,” the official said.
Statistics of MAFWR show that the sultanate’s lobster catch in the 2020 season yielded 950 tonnes worth RO4.1mn. Domestic consumption accounted for 597 tonnes, and the remaining 353 tonnes were exported.