“The aquaculture sector is expected to add RO300mn to the GDP and provide 5,000 jobs by 2023,” Eng Dawood al Yahyai, director of aquaculture development department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, said in his comments in the Central Bank of Oman’s latest Al Markazi issue, an economic and banking publication of the central bank.
The development of aquaculture in Oman will contribute to the diversification of sources of national income, employment of national labour, utilisation of unused coastal lands and sustainability of marine organisms throughout the year, he said.
Yahyai noted that the ministry has received up to 19 applications for aquaculture ventures and they are at various stages of approvals. “Some of them are in the final stages of the licensing and construction phase, while some are in the initial stages of approvals. The applications are for different types of aquaculture, including fish, shrimps, abalone, grouper, algae and floating cages, and those that are submitted by small investors and SMEs owners.”
As for foreign investment in the sector, Yahyai said that there is a request from a Norwegian company to establish a salmon farming project in Quriyat, which has entered to the phase of feasibility study and environmental impact assessment.
He said Oman’s long coastal stretch makes aquaculture a vital economic sector that not only provides job opportunities, utilises untapped areas and produces off-season fish, but also is capable of attracting foreign investment.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 2017 had set up the Tanfeedh Labs for the fisheries sector with the main objective of increasing aquaculture production 100,000 tonnes by 2023.