Oman Fisheries acquires deep sea fishing trawler

The vessel will start fishing operations within the next few days


Oman Fisheries Company (OFC), which is partly owned by the Omani government, has announced that it has taken delivery of its first wholly owned commercial fishing vessel part of a planned fleet that will support the companys deep sea fishing operations.

Dr Khalid Mansoor al Zadjali, CEO, said in a filing to the Capital Market Authority (CMA) that the new acquisition is in line with the companys strategy to evolve into an integrated fisheries production entity. The vessel will start fishing operations within the next few days with a production capacity of more than 10,000 tonnes per year, he stated.

The trawler, suited for pelagic fishing, is proposed to be the first in a series of vessels that will form part of the companys commercial fishing fleet. Earlier, the company had announced that it had tied up with a foreign company to purchase a pre-owned (refrigerated seawater) fitted industrial pelagic fishing vessel having a capacity of more than 200 MT, as a part of its initial commercial fishing operations.

An industrial fishing fleet, equipped with sizable on board refrigerated storage capacity, will enable OFC to target potentially abundant pelagic fish stocks, chiefly sardine, tuna, mackerel and hilsa, off the Sultanates Wusta and Dhofar coasts, according to the company.

In the initial stages of the commercial fisheries programme, freshly harvested pelagic fish will be exported in frozen firm, according to the company. Investments in processing and value-adding facilities are envisioned in subsequent stages of the project, with an integrated high-end processing plant planned further down the line. The entire programme is proposed to be fully out by 2021.

Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), which is the governments food sector investment arm, owns the governments 24 per cent stake in Oman Fisheries Company.

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