Muscat – The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources (MAFWR) on Wednesday inaugurated a shrimp quarantine facility in Barka, under the patronage of H E Dr Saud bin Hamoud al Habsi, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources.
The project is a collaboration between the ministry and the Fisheries Development Oman.
The National Shrimp Quarantine Facility, developed at a cost exceeding RO600,000, spans an area of 6,000sqm and has an estimated annual capacity of 16,000 pairs of shrimp, specifically white-legged ones, supporting aquaculture projects throughout the sultanate.
The facility’s primary objective is to receive imported shipments of shrimp broodstock, subject them to monitoring and inspection to ensure they are free from potential diseases, and maintain product quality before transferring them to farms.
Quarantines serve as the frontline defence against transboundary and common diseases by inspecting imported consignments, ensuring compliance with international and local health requirements, and preventing the spread of diseases to farms in Oman.
Eng Yaqoub Khalfan al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Fish Resources in MAFWR, highlighted the rapid growth of the aquaculture sector globally, projecting a substantial demand supply gap of approximately 40mn tonnes over the next two decades.
The ministry plays a vital role in developing and stimulating the aquaculture sector, as evidenced by the production of 3,500 tonnes of shrimp valued at RO7mn last year, he informed.
Mohammed al Wahibi, the project manager, outlined the facility’s infrastructure, which comprises three buildings, each capable of accommodating around 700 fully grown shrimps.
“Each batch undergoes a quarantine period of 40 days to two months before being dispatched to fish farming projects across various governorates.”
The quarantine facility includes dedicated laboratories for sample testing and is designed to expand its facilities in the future to meet the growing demand in the industry.