Welcome to Aquaculture in Oman
For a few years now the aquaculture industry in Oman is gaining more and more attention from both public and private sector. In an attempt to further diversify the Omani economy beyond hydrocarbons ,aquaculture has been indentified as a key pillar for regional economic policy.
----- MAFW Investment guidelines for aquaculture development in the Sultanate of Oman
We often forget that fish is one of the last hunted species. It is a recognized fact that production of seafood from aquaculture will increasingly fill the gap between the demand and the supply from wild capture fisheries. With a global population of 6.5 billion and a prediction of 9 billion by 2050, it will become a necessity to produce more and more aquaculture product from seas, rivers and lakes. Almost half of fish consumed worldwide is from aquaculture. On a global basis, wild stocks represent a finite resource with several stocks on the decline or suffering from fishing pressures.
Oman waters are extremely productive and up-welling cold ,nutrient rich, unpolluted Oman waters is best for aquaculture Farming.
The Sultanate of Oman has identified aquaculture as one of the key pillar to diversify its national economy. The overall vision of the Ministry of Agriculture & fisheries is to develop a sustainable, competitive and environment-friendly aquacuture sector that meets the needs of customers from the high quality aqua products. The government scripted legislation regarding aquaculture in 2004 and in collaboration with FAO has developed a national strategy for aquaculture development in 2007. Since 1997, the Ministry of Fisheries Wealth has been engaged in Different research and development projects on fish and shellfish culture. These included the investigations on abalone hatchery, mussel and oyster culture, shrimp farming and pilot trials on cage and pond culture of finfish, suitable site selection for aquaculture, development of feed for cultured aquatic animal, hatchery development for finfish, seacucmer aquaculture and development of freshwater integrated Tilapia farms in Oman. At present, five funded programs are ongoing which include: Abalone aquaculture which aimed to develop novel hatchery technologies and to examine the potential of enhancing the natural fishery, Sustainable aquaculture development in Musandam Goverovrate- A GIS-based approach, which concentrate in using GIS as a tool for selecting the suitable sites for cage aquacuture in Musandam Goveronrate, development of marine cage demonstration farm in Musandam, which concentrate in developing small demonstration cage farm for local fishermen society in Musandam, Development of feed ingrediants in aquaculture and the second stage of the project for development of integrated tilapia aquaculture.
Experience gained from Ministry-funded projects and subsequent technology transfer has stimulated entrepreneurial interest in commercial aquaculture ventures. Currently, there is one commercial shrimp farm in Oman which produced local shrimp (Penaeus Indicus). In addition to this farm, there are many applications for establishing commercial aquaculture projects for shrimp, marine cages and RAS. For freshwtare aquaculture in Oman, there are 10 integrated tilapia farms which was established at the end of 2013 by a local farmers with the support from the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries. There is also one private hatchery for tilapia. This year, the Ministry of Fisheries Wealth has completed its which incorporates guidelines for the production of eco-label and organically certified aquacultured products. Availability of technical and investment information is important. Therefore , Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries published different reports, books and leaflets that help investors and interested people. These publications include “Atlas of suitable sites for aquaculture projects in sultanate of Oman” which will facilitate aquaculture industries in selecting the right sites for their interested selected species, marine cage aquaculture, Environmental Best Management Practices manual, and the more recent one this year 2015 is the Investment Guidelines for Aquaculture Development in Oman for the purpose of providing information to potential investors in and developers of aquaculture projects in Oman.