Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has banned the fishing of abalone for the rest of 2017 and 2018 following years of dwindling stocks.
Fishing of abalone – a form of marine snail – was restricted to 12 days in 2016, and was completely banned in 2015.
Once dried and exported, the shellfish sells for as much as 60 Omani ($156) per kilogram.
According to government statistics, abalone production was 55 tonnes in 2016, compared to 149 tonnes in 2011 – the year after a three-year moratorium on harvest, sales and exports ended.
Additionally, the ministry announced a nine-month ban on shrimp fishing in the sultanate’s territorial waters, and urged fishermen, hotels, restaurants and private individuals to register the quantities of shrimp they’ve had in stock since the ban.
Omani abalone – which are mostly found in the waters of the Dhofari coast near Mirbat and Sadah – are among the fastest growing species of abalone found anywhere in the world.
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