Oman. Aquaculture production has increased by 500% – Oman’s aquaculture sector has grown by 500%. In 2022, the production of fish from aquaculture reached 1,703 tons, compared with just 284 in 2014. An eight-year growth that satisfies Dawood Suleiman al Yahyai, director general of fisheries research at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR).
Extensive sea exposure and a vast coastline offer Oman the ideal conditions to consider fisheries and aquaculture as major contributors to the sultanate’s GDP, which currently has a number of large-scale fish farming projects in the pipeline worth more than one billion dollars.
Production from freshwater aquaculture increased from five tonnes in 2014 to 353 tonnes in 2021.
Fish production from integrated fish farming and commercial fish farming projects reached 1,350 tonnes in 2022, the most significant project being that of European seabream.
An attractive floating cage project in Quriyat for seabream production is currently being implemented, as well as two other projects for shrimp production in Qurun and Khuweima in southern Sharqiyah and an abalone production project in Dhofar.
“The ministry – as Yahyai said – has received many applications, currently in the approval phase, for commercial aquaculture projects”.
On the challenges facing the aquaculture sector, Yahyai said that fish farming, like other food production sectors, faces the problems of diseases and epidemics that can affect fish farms and cause huge economic losses and in some cases , including the complete closure of fish farms.
There are currently 28 integrated freshwater fish farms in the sultanate. Abalone production is expected to start in the new year.
The aquaculture projects in the sultanate are classified into integrated aquaculture and commercial aquaculture projects.
Integrated aquaculture projects are based on the integration of agricultural activity and aquaculture. They aim to optimize the use of land and water resources in food production activities that contribute to food security.
As for commercial aquaculture projects, most take place in the sea or on land by the sea.
Oman. Aquaculture production has increased by 500%