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Title: How effective is Oman’s Fisheries Strategy Plan (OFSP) 2013-2020 for the development of the country’s fisheries sector?
Author: Al-Subhi, Khalid Khalifa Nasser
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 0632
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
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The Omani fishery sector is an important source of seafood and makes a significant social and economic contribution to Oman's national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), providing on average 0.55% of Oman's GDP during the period 2007-2015 (MAF, 2015). The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) has prepared the Oman Fisheries Strategic Plan (OFSP) (MAF, 2012b) for the development of the fisheries sector for the period 2013-2020 through the implementation of 20 projects with investment amounting to about 509.40 million Omani Rial (OMR) (approximately US $1.32 billion). This investment is planned to reach a production target of about 462,000 tonnes of fish annually by 2020, an increase of 27% compared to the current annual rate of increase of up to 2.8%, and is estimated to achieve a direct financial return of OMR 369.60 million (US $ 960 million) at constant prices, and also to provide more than 8,600 direct jobs by 2020. The aim of this study is to investigate the OFSP and evaluate how likely it is that these objectives will be realised in practice. Methods of obtaining secondary and primary data include documentary analysis, participant observation, 44 key informant interviews, ten focus group discussions (the total number of people involved in the focus group discussions (FGDs) was 40) and 92 survey questionnaires. The pilot fieldwork was conducted between August and September 2014 in order to prepare for the main fieldwork. The main fieldwork was conducted between August and October 2015. The key findings show that most of the development projects have been suspended indefinitely, mainly because of the slump in oil prices, lack of private sector investment, and lack of political will to address problems such as widespread non-compliance with fisheries regulations, illegal foreign workers, little stakeholder involvement in decision-making, and bureaucratic governmental institutions. Even if the above problems are solved, four uncertainties were identified that could impact the implementation of the OFSP. First, there is no guarantee that small-scale inshore fishers will retrain to work on offshore larger vessels. Second, there will be environmental impacts on fish stock levels as a result of the expansion of fishing. Third, there is the danger of opening up Oman’s fisheries sector to the forces of globalisation that could expose it to market instability and foreign control. Fourth, the plan does not appear to recognise that wholesale modernization of the fisheries sector could lead to reduced, not increased, employment levels. In short, the results suggest that the likelihood of the OFSP being realised is slim. The study makes several recommendations to the management authority on how to address these issues and contribute to Omani’s sustainable development of the fishery sector. The findings herein have wider implications in highlighting the importance of evaluating strategic plans against realistic achievements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available