Duqm – The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) has launched an artificial coral reef park in Duqm. The project aims to create an environment conducive for marine life and provide a unique diving experience to tourists.
Nasser Mohammed al Rahbi of the Partnership and Development Department in OPAZ, informed that a 250m barrel pipe filled with concrete has been lowered into the sea near the Hasat Hamar Island.
“OPAZ, in cooperation with a number of government agencies, is managing the project which aims to sustain the marine environment in the region, enhance biodiversity, increase fish production, create habitats for marine creatures, and revive diving activity,” Rahbi said.
Confirming that the barrel pipe filled with concrete will contribute to a fertile environment to attract many species of marine life, Mohammed Hamad al Mahrouqi, from the Environmental Control Department in Duqm, said the project will present an unparalleled experience for diving enthusiasts as an extension of the rocks scattered around Hasat Hamar Island.
“We urge fishermen to avoid net fishing near the island to avoid damaging the corals,” Mahrouqi said.
He informed that the Environmental Control Department will follow up on the project through diving surveys on the growth of marine creatures and ensure the integrity of the barrel pipe according to the plan prepared.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has implemented large artificial coral reef projects in 14 wilayats of the sultanate. A total of 13,906 artificial reefs were grown at these sites from 2003 to 2019. The ministry seeks to develop the tourism sector by creating environment ideal for diving and related tourist activities and to carry out scientific studies.