Supporting the Oman Industry towards Sustainability
IFFO travelled to Oman in June to help the local industry get together, strengthen its global standing, while supporting responsible supply worldwide. As IFFO was in Oman the local producers gathered all together for the first time ever, and by the end of our trip they had managed to create an association of local producers of marine ingredients, appointing Mohammed Ameen, of Sea Price LLC, as president and spokesperson.
Prior to IFFO’s visit the Omanis had expressed their willingness to start working on implementing a fishery improvement project (FIP), which hopefully will drive the Oman small pelagic fishery toward full certification to the IFFO RS standard. As the local fishery has not officially applied yet to the new IFFO RS improver program (IFFO RS IP), IFFO took this opportunity to reiterate to the local players the urgency of creating a working group with the local authorities with 2 main objectives: first of all to set up a system to collect reliable data on the state of the local fisheries; secondly, to define a regulatory environment that guarantees a sustainable management of the fishery resources.
As recently noticed by Brian Murtagh, Panama FIP coordinator, Panama managed to become the first accepted applicant for the IFFO RS IP scheme thanks to the continued dialogue between the government, the industry and the NGOs.
With this in mind IFFO met with the Omani Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Hamad bin Sulaiman Al Oufi, in order to highlight the need for a multi-stakeholder approach as the only way to promote positive change. More detailed and practical information was also provided by IFFO to the 4 governmental officials that the same Minister had appointed to attend a ad hoc meeting that the Omani producers of marine ingredients had organised to agree a plan of action involving both the public and private sector.
A total of 8 companies, 3 of which already IFFO members, are active in the Sultanate, with a total of 11 licenced plants and a combined processing capacity of more than 4,000 mt per day. In 2018, the production of marine ingredients was reported at around 33,000 mt, a 3-fold increase since the year 2015 when the reduction industry was started.
Author: Dr Enrico Bachis