The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) continues to introduce modern technology in efforts to support fishermen and the fisheries sector.
In line with these efforts, the ministry launched a project to transfer knowledge and modern technology to catch fish in December 2019 which will end in 2021.
According to an MAFWR official, the ministry has formed a team to implement the project, funded by the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Fund. The project will end on December 16, 2021.
“The project aims at introducing modern longline fishing technology, assisting fishermen and training ministry employees. The work team is implementing techniques with modern fishing equipment using various types of longline pulling equipment (surface, bottom and vertical). The operations are followed up by technical specialists of the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Fund,” said Dr Abdullah al Nahdi, project manager.
Longline fishing, or longlining, is a commercial fishing technique. It uses a long line, called the main line, with baited hooks attached at intervals by means of branch lines called snoods.
A snood is a short length of line, attached to the main line using a clip or swivel, with the hook at the other end. Longlines are classified mainly by where they are placed in the water column.
This can be at the surface or at the bottom. Lines can also be set by means of an anchor, or left to drift. Hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks can hang from a single line.
Longliners – fishing vessels rigged for longlining – commonly target swordfish, tuna, halibut, sablefish and many other species.
Fish production in the sultanate grew a robust 38 per cent to nearly 800,000 tonnes last year, up from 580,000 tonnes in 2019.
National Centre for Statistics and Information’s figures show artisanal fishing accounted for 96 per cent of the sultanate’s total fish production in 2019.
MAFWR has stated that it expects the fisheries sector’s contribution to the GDP to rise to RO387mn and generate over 8,500 direct jobs by 2025, with investments to the tune of RO447mn.