H E Dr Hamad bin Said al Oufi, Undersecretary in MoAF called on all fishermen to benefit from the opportunities being offered and contribute to the sector’s growth. He said the fisheries sector production reached worth RO227mn in 2017. The ministry’s programmes will include providing commercial, coastal and modern sophisticated boats.
“We also aim to increase fisheries production to 1.3mn tonnes and provide 4,000 direct jobs by 2023. The private sector will contribute about 93 per cent of the investments to these initiatives,” said H E Dr Oufi. Talking about the programmes he said, “The first stage will include providing 270 modern sophisticated boats. This programme ensures Omani fishermen get boats equipped with safety features. We aim to increase fisheries production and the income of fishermen. Financial support from Al Raffd Fund, Oman Development Bank and the government is also available under this programme.”
However, there are specific conditions for obtaining these boats, said H E Dr Oufi. “Only an Omani fisherman living in one of the coastal areas of the country is eligible to get this boat.”
The coastal fishing fleet will include boats that are 14-30m long. “It will have advanced navigation equipment and safety features. We currently have 110 coastal fishing boats and we hope to increase the number to 480 by 2023.” The commercial fishing fleet will use a different gear and will help boost tuna and other fish production. “We have given 33 licences for commercial and coastal fishing boats so far.”
H E Dr Oufi added that the fisheries laboratories in cooperation with Tanfeedh is also planing to implement 90 projects and other investment initiatives in the private sector. “The investment value of the private sector for these initiatives will be RO1bn by 2023. We seek to develop both the artisanal fishing and the coastal fishing sectors and re-establish the commercial fishing sector.”