Oman expects the fishing sector to contribute RO739.3m ($1.9bn) to its GDP by 2020, MEED’s Oman Projects Forum 2014 conference has been told.

Speaking at the MEED event on 28 October in Muscat, Hamed al-Oufi, undersecretary of Fisheries Wealth at the Agriculture & Fisheries Ministry, said the fishing sector was forecast to have a direct return of RO369.6m, as the sultanate invests heavily in upgrading the sultanate’s fisheries infrastructure.

Al-Oufti had told the conference on 27 October that four new fishing ports were under construction and six are at different stages of the design and tendering phases.

Al-Oufti said the most anticipated project in the sultanate’s fishing sector was the fisheries zone planned at the Duqm port and industrial zone, which will be one of the largest fisheries developments in the Gulf. The facility will have up to 60 fish processing plants.

He added that Oman currently has a fish production rate of about 200,000 tonnes a year, 13 per cent higher than production in 2011. The ministry is planning to boost production to 500,000 tonnes by 2020.