Muscat: The Research Council (TRC) is funding a research project on aquatic biology.
The project would help develop a strategy to improve the Sultanate's preventive environment against aquatic diseases and epidemics that result from the import of fish and marine products.
It will develop a strategy for aquatic biological security in the Sultanate with a view to preserving the local aquatic wealth and double Oman's production of marine life.
Dr Sudesh Bonertri, a researcher with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and principal investigator of the project, said this project is the first of its kind in Oman and is a national research project on aquatic animals. He added that TRC funding has enabled the project to purchase the equipment necessary for completion and implementation in aquaculture.
He said the Sultanate is ready to begin developing aquaculture according to a strategy that ensures another source of economy along with oil-dependent economy. The statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2010 shows that the current fish production is around 164,000 tons a year, which could double with proper scientific innovation and capacity building.
He added that the success of this research project will provide manpower and expertise needed in aquatic life. It will also provide an aquatic health programme which is required in this area. The project will fund a Ph.D and master's degrees in the study of Aquatic Biology.
Dr Sudesh Bonertri also said that the marketing activities of TRC regarding licensing and patenting is an important issue, and sponsoring innovation would be a major initiative. The TRC would play an effective role in bringing innovation to government and voluntary and private institutions.