The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Wealth and Water Resources, represented by the General Directorate of Agricultural and Fisheries Wealth and Water Resources in Musandam, implemented a project of lowering four artificial reefs at 30 to 50 meters in the Wilayat of Dibba in Musandam Governorate, Oman Observer reports.
The project, execution of which is financed by the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Fund, was conceived due to the increase in the number of fishermen, limited places where natural coral reefs exist, and wrong fishing practices in areas where natural coral reefs are located. Such practices caused damage to coral reefs and polluted the marine environment.
The project aims to enhance, sustain and protect natural fisheries, improve the level of fisheries stock in Musandam, and improve the economic living conditions of fishermen in the governorate.
There are 14,022 artificial coral reef units distributed at 154 sites in various governorates of the Sultanate.
According to the ministry’s statistics, with a total of 7,992 artificial coral reef units distributed over 89 sites, the Governorate of North Al Batinah obtained the highest number, followed by the Governorate of Muscat (2,661 units at 27 sites), Governorate of South Al Batinah (2,115 units at 22 sites), and Musandam Governorate (1,194 units at 12 sites). The governorates of South Al Sharqiah and Dhofar recorded the lowest number of artificial coral reef units with 50 and 10 units, respectively.
Coral reefs are considered a safe environment for the survival and reproduction of many living marine organisms. They are one of the most suitable environments for the reproduction of benthic fish.
At the end of 2019, the ministry launched the artificial reefs farm project in the Wilayat of Suwaiq, which is the largest farm in the Middle East, with a length of 20 km on the coastline, a width of 7 km, and a depth ranging from 15 to 30 meters. The project includes the landing of 4,280 units of artificial reefs of three different models: The Arab pyramid, the cube, and the steel model.