The ministry stated that its inspection team in Dhofar seized 16kg of abalone and 150kg of lobster during the embargo period. The team also seized 188kg of sea cucumber in Al Wusta. In a decision, the ministry had banned abalone harvesting during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The decision further stated that possession, trading and transport of abalone was prohibited as well.
The Ministerial Decision No 2018/69 issued on March 19 prohibited fishing, possession and transport of sea cucumber for a year. According to Article 1 of the decision, fishing of sea cucumber in the Omani waters is prohibited for one year from the date of implementation of the order. Any type of handling of the sea cucumber is prohibited, whether by sale, purchase, transportation, storage or export during the embargo.
Article 2 stipulates that fishermen, individuals, establishments and companies holding quantities of sea cucumber prior to the issuance of the decision needed to register with MoAF or the fisheries departments in the governorates within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of implementation of the decision.
Following this, permits were to be issued and they had to be disposed of within a period not exceeding four months from the date of the implementation of the decision.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Dr Hussein al Maskati, director, Development and Management of Fish Resources, MoAF, said, “Sea cucumber is found in abundance off the coast of Mahout in Al Wusta governorate. They help preserve the marine environment.
“The temporary ban has been issued for several reasons such as to get data on sea cucumber off the coast of the sultanate.”
The ministry has urged people to adhere to the specific fishing periods.