OMAN: USD 260 million subsidies for fishermen, over five years.

An article in the online edition of Oman Daily Observer mentions the figure of Omani Rial (RO) 100 million (or USD 260 million) over five years financial assistance package to the Omani fishing and aquaculture industry.

The article quotes Dr Hamed bin Said al Oufi, Fisheries Wealth Under-Secretary as saying that the bulk of the subsidies will go to fisheries infrastructure. Dr. Al Oufi added that the planned amount was "is more than four times what was allotted during the previous Plan" and that "part of the allocation will also help finance the upgrade of the fishing fleet, marketing chain infrastructure, training, exploration of new markets, and improvements in the quality of fish."

Speaking about the state of the Omani fisheries industry he said that: “Subsidies are not the only thing that fishermen will need. There are other sources of financing: the Oman Development Bank (ODB), for example, gives loans at almost zero interest rate. This is the future of developing the sector. Subsidies, on the other hand, have two sides — a positive side and a negative side. People get subsidies and don’t become active because they don’t have to pay back anything.”

Another interesting statement by Dr. Al Oufi refers to the export prohibitions in place for "five notified species" . Looking in the Internet for more information on this export bans I found an article in the Oman Tribune where it is stated that the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, issued a decision banning export of kanad (kingfish), sahwa (tuna), al gethar, and al safi for six months, from December 1, 2011.

Here is the link to the article on subsidies in the Oman Daily Observer:

Here the link to  the article of the Oman Tribune on the export prohibitions.

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