Oman Fisheries Company (OFC), a fish processing firm that is partly owned by the Omani government, is planning the acquisition of an industrial fishing vessel so as to shortly start commercial fishing operations.
The trawler, which will be suited for pelagic fishing, is proposed to be the first in a series of vessels that will form part of the company’s commercial fishing fleet, Oman Daily Observer reported.
“Oman Fisheries has 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 tonnes, as a part of its initial commercial fishing operations," said Mohammed bin Hamad al Masrouri, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
"The vessel is due to arrive in Oman shortly, and with its addition, the fishing capacity of the company is expected to increase significantly. Further with the commercial catch, the products would command extra value, due to its freshness and on-time processing,” Al Masrouri stated in the Directors Report for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.
The firm expects that an industrial fishing fleet, equipped with sizable onboard refrigerated storage capacity, will enable OFC to target potentially abundant pelagic fish stocks, chiefly sardine, tuna, mackerel and hilsa, off the Sultanate’s Wusta and Dhofar coasts.
Oman Fisheries Company CO.S.A.O.G
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.
Significantly, the commercial fisheries initiative is one of four new Lines of Business envisaged by OFC as part of an ongoing restructuring exercise designed to modernise the company, and ensure its profitability as a commercial enterprise.
It includes plans for a new seafood canning project focusing on sardine and tuna processing, with additional revenues coming from fish oil and fish meal processing activities. [email protected] www.fis.com
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