The Sultan of Oman has decided to merge Blue Water, Al Wusta Fishery Industries, and Oceanic Shrimp Aquaculture to establish a new company called Fisheries Development Oman.

A government statement released this week explains that the consolidation will include the dissolution of the boards of directors of the three companies to be brought under one board of directors, in addition to the integration of their operations under one umbrella and one legal and investment entity.

“This will enhance the efficiency of investment and performance governance, as well as work to achieve unified economic and investment goals,” the statement explained.

It is hoped that the move will speed up plans for the Barr Al Hikman shrimp farm, which is currently under the auspices of the Oman Aquaculture Development Company (OADC), a subsidiary of the Oman Investment Fund (OIF).

If completed this 8,000-hectare project would be the second largest of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with an annual production capacity of 43,000 tonnes of Indian white shrimp (Fenneropenaeus indicus).

According to the FAO, the country produced only 451 tonnes of farmed fish and shellfish in 2018 – largely shrimp and tilapia. However, the country is currently targeting an annual aquaculture output of 200,000 tonnes by 2040.

Projects currently under development include an abalone farm and a seabass and sea bream farm in Musandam, which was stocked this week.

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