Oman: Oman’s fishing industry is heavily influenced by artisanal fishing, which boasts an impressive 93.4% share. In May of this year, a remarkable 336,810 tonnes of fish were harvested through artisanal methods, marking a 4% surge compared to the previous year’s tally of 324,040 tonnes.
As per the data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the value of artisanal fishing catch amounted to an impressive RO177.259 million. Commercial fishing contributed 20,516 tonnes to the overall fish landing, whereas coastal fishing added 2,930 tonnes to the mix.
Moreover, Al Wusta took the lead among the various governorates with a staggering 135,935 tonnes of fish through artisanal fishing. Following closely was South Sharqiyah with 101,179 tonnes, Dhofar with 37,075 tonnes, North Batinah and South Batinah, both recording 31,318 tonnes of fish.
Additionally, Musandam witnessed 19,239 tonnes of fish while Muscat registered a slightly lower figure of 12,064 tonnes of fish captured through artisanal fishing.
When scrutinizing the catch composition, it becomes apparent that small surface fish dominated, reaching an impressive total of 203,467 tonnes by the end of May 2023.
The sum of large surface fish caught through artisanal fishing experienced an 8.5% decline, amounting to 74,203 tonnes by the end of May, in contrast to the 81,123 tonnes recorded in May 2022. Similarly, the capture of demersal fish dwindled by 14.1%, with 51,804 tonnes registered in May 2023 compared to 60,276 tonnes in May 2022.
In contrast, there was a notable 7.6% increase in the quantity of sharks caught through artisanal fishing, reaching 2,075 tonnes in 2023 as opposed to 1,927 tonnes in 2022.
The prominence of artisanal fishing in the Sultanate’s fish landings underscores its pivotal role in the local fishing industry, emphasizing the importance of adopting sustainable practices to safeguard marine resources for future generations.