Muscat: In a significant achievement, Oman's fish production has reached 206,000 tonnes, worth OMR166 million, in 2013, reflecting a 16 per cent increase over 2012 figure, according to latest data released by the government.
Dr Hamad bin Said bin Sulaiman Al Aufi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, while releasing the data, said that fish production was 192,000 tonnes, worth OMR143 million, in 2012. He said the increase was achieved through professional modes of fishing, which accounted for eight per cent, and coastal fishing which has grown to the level of 60 per cent.
Al Aufi said that traditional fishing contributed 98 per cent of the overall production while commercial fishing accounted for just 0.2 per cent, coastal fishing 1.1 per cent and fish farming contributed just 0.2 per cent to the total production.
He said that the governorates which are alongside the Arabian Sea coasts contributed 66 per cent of the total produce. Al Wusta governorate contributed 26 per cent, South Sharqiyah 25 per cent and Dhofar 15 per cent.
Similarly, the governorates which are alongside the Oman Sea, North and South Batinah contributed 17 per cent, Musandam contributed nine per cent and Muscat contributed eight per cent to the total produce, he said.
Hamad Al Aufi said that Oman's export of fisheries has also reached 125,000 tonnes, accounting for 97 per cent in 2013. This is an increase of seven per cent over the previous year's export figure. He also said that the UAE was the largest importer of fish, and purchases 48 per cent of total Omani fish in 2013. However, it imported 84.8 per cent of Omani fish in 2012. In 2011, it imported 84.6 and in 2010, 68.2 per cent of total Omani fish exports.
Oman's export of fish to Gulf countries in 2012 was 28,372.2 tonnes, which was worth OMR16,789.2. In 2011, it was 36,058.5 tonnes, which is worth OMR19,315.6. In 2010, it had exported 57,681 tonnes to GCC countries at a cost of OMR24,926.6.
He also said that fish farming production in Oman has also increased to reach 353 tonnes in 2013 which is 110 per cent more than 2012 production in this mode.
However, Oman's white Indian shrimp and red tilapia farming came down drastically during this period. According to the latest data, white Indian shrimps' farming has come down to 350 tonnes, and red tilapia to just three tonnes.
In 2013, Oman produced 52,544 tonnes of bait fish which is 26 per cent of the total produce of the country. It produced 12,976 tonnes of Alshoh fish which is six per cent of total fish production.
Alshoh is considered one of the most important fish produced in the country.
Five years back, between 2006 and 2008, its production hovered between 7,884 tonnes and 8,564 tonnes.
The production of Emperor or Shari fish reached 10,867 tonnes which is five per cent of Oman's total fish produce.
Small jacks' production reached 8,803 tonnes, crockers' production reached 8,852 tonnes, Indian mackerel 8,320 tonnes, large jack 8,350 tonnes, yellow fin tuna 7,769 tonnes, shark 7,339 tonnes and cuttlefish production reached 6,371 tonnes.
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