ANZ Bank has warned of a “significant decline in the age of fish stocks” in Oman, as the nation’s economy is facing a worsening drought.
The bank’s annual report said that Oman’s fish stocks fell by nearly a third in the first half of this year.
“In contrast to the prior year, Oman’s total fish stocks have declined by an average of 10% since the end of June,” the report said.
“There is an increasing risk of a further decline in fish stocks over the coming years as Oman faces more severe droughts, which are expected to result in more extreme impacts on fisheries.”
It said Oman’s fishery had suffered an “average of five-and-a-half per cent annual drop in total catch and catch rates in recent years”.
“These trends will be exacerbated by further drought and the consequent increase in fish population and demand,” the bank said.
The report said Oman had one of the lowest catch rates for both male and female fish in the world.
It said fish stocks had declined by almost 30 per cent in the past four years and the outlook for fish stocks was grim.
“We believe the outlook is likely to deteriorate over the next year and a half,” it said.
A new report has highlighted the challenges Oman faces as a nation facing an economic crisis and the risk of further declines in its fish stocks.
It said the country’s GDP is forecast to fall by $100 million in 2021, while the average household income is expected to be $150,000 a year.
The latest report said the economic crisis in Oman and the lack of access to clean water and electricity had contributed to a “sharp decline” in the countrys fish stocks, as well as in the value of its exports.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said the government had failed to respond adequately to the food and agricultural needs of the people of Oman, which is a poor country.
Its director, David Lister, said that unless the government addressed the problem, Oman would not achieve its potential.
“The food and farming sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of GDP, has been affected by the current food crisis,” Mr Lister said.
The government’s response has been to increase subsidies for food and feed production, which has resulted in a dramatic drop in the price of produce.
The countrys exports to Australia have fallen by 80 per cent, according to the International Trade Centre.
“As a result of the poor market environment, Oman is now facing an even worse outlook for food exports than it had before the current financial crisis,” it added.
The government is trying to boost trade with China and India, but these countries are struggling to provide the infrastructure to support their economies.