A steep increase in the landed prices of seasonal fish species, notably sardine and cuttlefish, is among a number of factors contributing to hefty losses incurred by Oman Fisheries Company SAOG, the Sultanate’s largest integrated fisheries group, during the first half of this year.
The partly government-owned enterprise, which is also listed on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), attributed the sharp spike in the procurement cost of these seasonal species to a crackdown on “foreign fishermen” operating in the Sultanate’s waters.The “sudden strong action imposed by the government on foreign fishermen during the last couple of months had crippled collections at all potential landing centres in Oman, heavily affecting our procurement targets of seasonal species, namely sardines and cuttlefish”, said the Chairman of Oman Fisheries, in the Directors Report of the company’s unaudited, consolidated financial results for the first six months of this year. As a result of the clampdown on unauthorised fishermen, landed volumes of sardines and cuttlefish were “sparse”, thereby resulting in a sharp increase in procurement prices, the Chairman stated. The landed price of sardines, for example, shot up to 240 baisas per kilo, as against the regular price of 80 baisas — an increase of 300 per cent. (…)