Times of Oman
Nov 28, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 03:37 PM GMT
Artificial reefs boost marine life in Oman
July 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM
This project has increased the fish reserves. With the buoys now marking locations along the coast, the fishermen can easily identify rich fishing sites. –Supplied photo

Liwa: A partnership between Vale and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has helped improve the marine life along the coast of Liwa.

In coordination with the local fishermen, 400 artificial reefs were installed in four different locations in the waters of Harmool, Al Ramliya and Nibr to enhance biodiversity and raise the number of fish in non-restricted fishing areas for commercial use.

The two-year project was divided into three stages to allow for constructive assessment and evaluation of its outcome. The artificial reefs were dropped in each of the four locations between the depths of 10 and 28 metres.

In addition, four demarcation buoys equipped with solar powered navigation beacons were installed to mark the location around the Al Ylah Mountain to protect the existing natural reefs. Assessments carried out by the ministry and local fishermen have indicated an increase in the quantities of fish caught which, in turn, underlines the improvement in this important source of livelihood.

Dr Hamed bin Said Al Oufi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for the Fisheries Wealth, explained, "In the past, fishermen built reefs out of basic materials such as rocks, tyres and the barks of palm trees. Today, with the advancement in the industry, we have invested in the research and development of environment-friendly reefs, creating a reef management system that has allowed us to reduce pollution caused by these materials, especially in shallow waters."

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