The ministry has called on fishermen to participate in the project as investors or as licensees. Fitted with latest navigation, safety and resource location equipment, these boats are designed to enhance the catch as they will be able to operate far from the coastline. High-tech resource location hardware will enable the vessel to pinpoint high-value fish species. These vessels will stay connected with land or sea-based communication network.
The project is expected to boost investment in fish processing and value-added industries while supporting the creation of direct and indirect employment opportunities across fish processing, logistics and related sectors.
Speaking to Muscat Daily , Dr Hussein al Maskati, director, development and management of Fish Resources, MoAF, said, “The programme aims to induct advanced vessels in the artisanal fishing fleet. It will not only help Omani job seekers to pursue rewarding livelihoods as fishermen but also build the capability of the fisheries sector to achieve an aggregate output of 1.3mn tonnes of fish products per annum by 2023.”
He added, “Interested Omanis can apply to be part of the landmark initiative as investors and licensees. Only Omani candidates who are unemployed or entirely dependent on fishing for their livelihoods are eligible to participate in this project, which will entitle them to enrol in the relevant pension fund and insurance system.”
The ministry has set some conditions like the applicant must get a licence to practice fishing, be registered as a job seeker and his age must be 21 years and above. “The fisherman must train the boat crew on maritime navigation for one month at one of the accredited institutes, and the fisherman must abide by the laws of fishing and not recruit expatriates.”
Meanwhile , Oman’s total fish production was up by 59 per cent to 553,000 tonnes last year compared to 18 per cent growth in 2017, according to the latest statistics from MoAF.
The ministry said that the total value of fish stocks stood at RO269mn compared to RO183mn in 2017.