Oman consolidates state-owned aquaculture ventures

24 June 2020, at 8:51am

Plans for a 40,000 tonne shrimp farm in Oman are due to be fast-tracked, following a decision to merge three state-owned seafood companies.

Oman aims to produce 200,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish a year through aquaculture
Oman aims to produce 200,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish a year through aquaculture

The Sultan of Oman has decided to merge Blue Water, Al Wusta Fishery Industries, and Oceanic Shrimp Aquaculture to establish a new company called Fisheries Development Oman.

A government statement released this week explains that the consolidation will include the dissolution of the boards of directors of the three companies to be brought under one board of directors, in addition to the integration of their operations under one umbrella and one legal and investment entity.

“This will enhance the efficiency of investment and performance governance, as well as work to achieve unified economic and investment goals,” the statement explained.

It is hoped that the move will speed up plans for the Barr Al Hikman shrimp farm, which is currently under the auspices of the Oman Aquaculture Development Company (OADC), a subsidiary of the Oman Investment Fund (OIF).

If completed this 8,000-hectare project would be the second largest of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with an annual production capacity of 43,000 tonnes of Indian white shrimp (Fenneropenaeus indicus).

According to the FAO, the country produced only 451 tonnes of farmed fish and shellfish in 2018 - largely shrimp and tilapia. However, the country is currently targeting an annual aquaculture output of 200,000 tonnes by 2040.

Projects currently under development include an abalone farm and a seabass and sea bream farm in Musandam, which was stocked this week.

Senior editor at The Fish Site

Rob Fletcher has been writing about aquaculture since 2007, as editor of Fish Farmer, Fish Farming Expert and The Fish Site. He has an MA in history from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in sustainable aquaculture from the University of St Andrews. He currently lives and works in Scotland.

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