Muscat – Forty-five expatriate workers were arrested for violating fishing laws and legislations in November, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) informed on Sunday.
A total of 317 violations were registered for non-compliance with regulations for fishing of marine resources, besides 208 violations of fishing licence regulations.
“In all, 207 items were seized, including boats, engines, nets, tracking devices and other fishing equipment,” the MAFWR official said, adding that a total of 276.7kg of fish were confiscated in November.
Specialists of the ministry arrested 45 expatriates for violating provisions of the Marine Fishing Law and Protection of Living Aquatic Resources.
“Besides the 208 violations of fishing licence regulations, 17 cases were registered for the use of prohibited fishing methods and possession of unauthorised equipment, nine violations of fishing in prohibited areas and time, 45 cases of employing unlicensed expatriate workers, 16 instances of non-compliance with placement of registration plates on boats and vessels, and ten other violations,” the ministry official added.
He informed that fisheries control teams in Dhofar caught a number of violators who were engaged in lobster fishing off-season.
MAFWR recently conducted several campaigns to arrest violators of the fishing law in various governorates.
“On December 26, Coast Guard Police, in coordination with the fisheries control team in Dhofar, arrested two violators onboard a fishing boat in the Arabian Sea off the wilayat of Dhalkut with lobsters caught outside the fishing season. The lobsters were confiscated and legal action taken against them,” the ministry official said.
On December 22, the fisheries control team of Al Wusta seized three unlicensed fishing boats and illegal nets in the wilayat of Duqm, and on December 20, the fisheries control team of Dhofar nabbed five fishing boats which used illegal nets in the Arabian Sea off Halaniyat Island.
“On December 17, the Directorate General of Agriculture Fisheries and Water Resources in Dhofar seized a private vehicle on the coast of Hadbeen transporting lobster caught offseason.”
MAFWR inks deal for fishing vessels tracking system
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) has signed an agreement with a private company to implement a project to develop an electronic monitoring system to control fishing boats and vessels in the sultanate.
The project aims to instal automatic tracking devices on coastal and artisanal fishing vessels in the first phase, followed by artisanal fishing boats in the second phase.
‘Automatic tracking devices will be installed on fishing boats and vessels to monitor their movement and activities by satellite. Information about the boats and vessels will go to operating rooms where specialists analyse the data and send it to the concerned authorities in the Maritime Security Centre for necessary action,’ an MAFRW statement said.