Muscat, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Said al-Marzouqi, Director General of the Fisheries Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said in a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA) that the Ministry is developing a program for the development of the fishing fleet to provide fishermen with appropriate working environment and meet the maritime safety requirements.

He added that the program will also improve the quality of products, ensure better use of the fisheries that are away from the coastal strip and provide fresh sea products at the local markets. It will also develop the value added industries and enhance fish exports to the different world market.

‘The Ministry has launched three programs to develop the fishing fleets as part of the endeavors made to develop the artisan and coastal fishing sectors and establish commercial fishing sector at the high seas. The advanced fishing boats program, which is one of these programs, aims at introducing a number of developed fishing units. The units can make better use of the maritime resources outside the coastal strip, provide appropriate working environment, meet maritime safety requirements and improve the quality of products, he added.

He affirmed that the program alleviates the activity of fishing on the coastal strip by the artisan fishing boats. The program helps fishermen to improve their social and economic standard of living. The program also provides fishermen with suitable accommodation and increases the quantity and value of fish catch. The Ministry has plans to introduce 270 advanced boats until the end of 2023.

“The Ministry has set a plan to develop the coastal fishing sector. The plan includes revising the laws and regulations related to the coastal fishing sector. It also revised and amended the procedures taken with regard to the licenses for the coastal fishing vessels. The Ministry, which also developed the technical specifications for these vessels, has plans to gradually introduce about 480 coastal fishing vessel by 2023 starting from this year,” he furthered.

‘The Ministry targets to increase the fish production to 1.4 million tons by 2023. The fishing sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to hit RO740 million and will provide 4000 direct jobs by 2023. The private sector will contribute by 93% of the investments that have been approved by the national economic diversification program ‘ Tanfeedh’, he continued.

91 investment projects and initiatives for the private sector have been approved. The contribution of the private sector to these initiatives is expected to reach RO1 billion by 2023, he noted.

He added that this year, the Ministry has issued 37 licenses for the commercial and coastal fishing vessels. The production of these vessels is expected to reach 70,000 tons.

Source: Oman News Agency