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Sustainable Development and Oman fisheries: Current practices and Development needs

Oman is one of the developing countries on the south-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula rich in fishing resources. The fisheries sector directly supports the livelihood to more than 44,500 fishers operating in more than 20,000 small medium size fishing boats. The average annual per-capita consumption of fisheries products was estimated of 26.9kg per person above the global average of 18.9kg/p/yr. While the seafood industries contribute to 0.6% (nearly $600m) of the national GDP in 2013, it is the second natural contributor to the economy and has great socioeconomic contribution to households and food security. The fisheries sector as to many other natural resources faces some technical challenges in terms of sustainable fisheries stock, heterogeous biodiversity, economic value to coastal areas, product optimization and extraction, social inclusion and certified sustainable production. The fisheries practices along the 3,165km of Oman coastline (200 nautical miles) Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have a significant impact to the decline of some major fisheries species and marine ecosystem. Climate changes in the marine ecosystem with other environmental impacts are immense and will result in fisheries decline and the overall variations of stock assessment for both pelagic and demersal species. We show that high total wild fisheries landing, the lack of sustainable aquaculture, the lack of integral process supply chain and fisheries export legal stringency in lucrative markets create an underperforming fisheries from the economic, social and environmental viewpoints. There is a lack of sustainability on all dimensions. We demonstrate the impact from the three different fishing practices (commercial, artisanal and aquaculture) to the overall variation of major fisheries species in the period from 1985 to 2013. The study highlights the importance of process optimization and certified fishing practices to the terms of trade of fisheries (TOT). The study concludes on how both mediators (Process Value Chain PVC and legal stringency LS over the fisheries export LSFE) create an extra impact to the income, output, higher utility and employment for sustainable fisheries production SDG8, on sustainable consumption and production SDG12.5 and SDG 14.7 on sustainable use of oceans. The study is useful to both practitioners and policy makers to estimate the impacts from both mediators (PVC, LS) to the sustainable uses of natural resources in developing countries. Keywords: Oman Fisheries, sustainability, Value chain, legal stringency, production
Mohammed H. Al Rizeiqi
UCD Geary Institute, Food Policy, Belfield, Dublin4, Ireland.
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