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    Artificial coral reefs to boost fishing industry in Duqm

    The Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD) is in discussion with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and other stakeholders in the fisheries sector to establish a man-made infrastructure inside the sea including the use of artificial coral reefs to ensure availability of fish stocks throughout the year.
    The availability of fish stocks throughout the year is crucial for the development of Duqm area, where the government is promoting number of projects including setting up food processing units along with packaging and refrigeration units to promote fish exports.
    “One of the key challenges is to ensure that there is enough fish stock available throughout the year,” Lee Chee Khian, CEO at SEZAD told Muscat Daily in an interview.
    Artificial coral reefs to boost fishing industry in Duqm
    He said the sea near Duqm becomes very rough during the Kharif season and makes it very difficult for fishermen to go deep into the sea for catching fish. As a result there is reduction in production during these months, resulting in decline of fish stocks.
    Khian said,”To ensure the availability of fish stocks throughout the year, it is essential that there is enough feed available. There has to be sufficient coral reefs for breeding of fishes. We are talking to the department of fisheries and others to prepare a plan to make sure that there are favourable conditions for breeding and feeding of fishes.”
    “We are now working on how to set up artificial coral reefs in the sea near Duqm to make favourable conditions for breeding. Similar experiments have produced very successful results in other parts of the world. If the same results are replicated here, it will be very good for local fisherman,” Khian added.
    SEZAD has also signed various memorandums of understanding (MoU) with a number of Omani companies to develop a fisheries hub in Duqm, including processing, laboratories, logistics and other support facilities.
    Khian said they are also planning a fisheries industrial complex in Duqm alongside a major fishing port. The fisheries complex will be designed to attract investments in processing plants, cold stores, training centres and quality testing laboratories, he added.

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