Juma bin Saleh al Kasbi, director of Fisheries Development Department in Jalaan Bani Bu Hassan, MoAF, stated, “The sultanate’s production of artisanal shrimp fishing in 2018 stood at 1,062 tonnes, an increase of 108 per cent with a total value of about RO9.3mn. Exports amounted to 126 tonnes.”
In the sultanate, shrimps are discovered close to Masirah Island, Mahout and coastal places in the Al Wusta governorate and along the coastal strip in the Governorate of South Sharqiyah. He added the Governorate of Al Wusta was on the best in shrimp production contributing to 72 per cent of the total catch from 2014-18, followed by the Governorate of South Sharqiyah with 24 per cent.
According to MoAF, shrimps are a single of the most economically crucial species in the sultanate.
Their higher nutritional worth and escalating demand in the nearby and international markets also make them extremely sought following.
MoAF is keen on restricting shrimp fishing to artisanal fishing. This will not just advantage the fishermen of the coastal villages but also sustain a balance in the ecosystem and minimize overfishing of shrimps in the sultanate.
There are 12 shrimp species in the sultanate, but only 4 species are fished with the aid of standard nets: white Indian shrimps, white shrimps, tiger prawns and dotted shrimps. The quantity of artisanal fishing vessels registered with the Department of Fisheries Development in Jalaan Bani Bu Hassan stands at 403, tiny artisanal fishing boats and marine fishing vessels at 14.
Shrimp fishing is carried out with the aid of tiny artisanal boats (fibreglass) with a length from 4m to 5m utilizing standard nets, a cotton cone mesh with bottom opening, cast by hand and pulled with a rope tied in the middle.
It is surrounded by numerous heavy weights that drag the net swiftly down. The net is utilized in the flat bottoms so that the shrimp does not escape from the sides. Shrimp fishing is completed early morning (four or six to 10am).
Fishing is carried out offshore at shallow depths in between 5m-7m. Shrimp fishing season in the sultanate that begins in the starting of September lasts for 3 months.
Information Source: Muscat Daily