Muscat – As many as 4,352 violations of the Marine Fishing Law and Protection of Living Aquatic Resources were registered in the sultanate in 2021, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR).
An MAFWR official said that specialists in the ministry arrested 378 expatriates.
“Among the total number of violations, 2,834 were for violating fishing licensing regulations, 455 cases of use of prohibited fishing methods and possession of unauthorised equipment, 80 violations of fishing in prohibited areas and time, 266 cases of employment of unlicensed expatriate workers, 373 instances of non-compliance with the placement of number plates on boats and ships, ten commercial fishing violations and 334 other violations,” he added.
According to the official, 3,225 pieces of equipment were seized, including 45 boats, 66 engines, 2,345 fishing nets and 245 trapping cages. The specialists also seized more than 9,524kg of fish and other marine resources that were caught and traded during prohibited seasons in 2021.
The official added that the ministry organises monitoring campaigns in cooperation with the relevant authorities, such as the Coast Guard of the Royal Oman Police, the Royal Navy of Oman, the Maritime Security Centre and the Ministry of Labour at all fishing sites.
Eng Tariq bin Darwish al Alawi, director of the Fisheries Control and Licensing Department in MAFWR, said, “The ministry has installed automatic tracking devices for fishing boats and vessels.”
He explained that the ministry’s work includes monitoring fishing boats, coastal and commercial activities, selling live aquatic resources in local markets, controlling fish exports through land, sea and airports and monitoring commercial fishing fleet through an electronic tracking system linked to satellites.
He added, “The ministry’s Fisheries Control Operations Room also uses modern technology and a remote sensing system to monitor the movement of commercial and coastal fishing vessels.”
The official added that the ministry registered 4,298 violations of the Marine Fishing Law and Protection of Living Aquatic Resources in 2020.