Muscat – The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) has documented a new species of fish in Omani waters for the first time.
An Omani fisherman caught an escolar – a member of the Gempylidae (snake mackerel) family – off the coast of Mirbat, Dhofar, recently and handed it over to the Directorate General of Fisheries Research, the ministry informed.
MAFWR thanked the Oman Fishermen’s Association for its cooperation in documenting the fish and urged all fishermen to report any new species of fish they come across and communicate with researchers in the field.
‘This scientific recording and documentation is a great addition to the biodiversity of Oman,’ the ministry said.
Describing the fish, the ministry said escolar is an oily fish native to tropical and temperate seas worldwide. ‘The escolar is dark brown, and grows darker with age until it is black. It is a fast-swimming fish with a prominent lateral keel and four to six finlets after the anal and second dorsal fins. Escolar can grow to over 2m in length.’
The ministry informed that escolar’s wax rich flesh can cause keriorrhea, which is also called gempylotoxism or gempylid fish poisoning. ‘Symptoms range from stomach cramps to rapid loose bowel movements, occurring 30 minutes to 36 hours following consumption,’ it stated.