Tuesday, 26 Jan 2021
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) in coordination with the Public Prosecution raided a house in Mahout in Al Wusta and seized 750kg of sea cucumbers. Fishing of the popular sandfish, which has one of the highest yield per kilogram among all sea foods, has been prohibited by the ministry.

MoAF seizes 750kg of banned sea cucumber from Mahout in Al Wusta

The ministry stated that the essential legal measures had been taken following confiscation of the sea cucumber. The ministry additional known as upon every person to abide by the Ministerial Decision No 2018/69, which was issued in March this year prohibiting the fishing of sea cucumber for a year.
Going by conservative estimates, the 750kg haul could effortlessly fetch more than RO10,000 in the international marketplace.

In the Ministerial Decision No 2018/69 issued on March 19, the ministry had stated that fishing of sea cucumbers in all Omani fishing waters is prohibited for 1 year from March 20.
“Any type of handling of the sea cucumber is prohibited, whether by sale, purchase, transportation, storage or export during the embargo.”

According to the ministry, short-term ban was issued to gauge the distribution of this valued sea meals and handle its exploitation in a sustainable way.

According to a study by Michel R Claereboudt and Khalfan al Rashdi, Holothuria scabra, which is the main species harvested in Oman, has practically disappeared from its extremely restricted variety following only a couple of years of uncontrolled exploitation, thereby emphasising the require for stricter management of the sea cucumber fishery.

Sea cucumber harvesting in Oman constitutes a minor fishery. Harvesting mostly requires location in Mahout Bay and centres on the sandfish, Holothuria scabra. They are collected by hand by walking in shallow-water places throughout low tide and are traditionally processed to a dried type following initial gutting, boiling and cleaning.

“While local prices paid to collectors varies from RO10–50 for 100 live specimens, depending on the size of the sea cucumber and the season, local traders receive RO35–55 per kg of dried sandfish when they export their product,” stated Rashdi in his study.

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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