By: Swapna Tarafdar
MUSCAT: The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has found that a popular spiny lobster variety, Panulirus homarus, known to be found mainly in the Indo-West Pacific region, is found in abundance in Oman and Yemen as well.
The findings by MoAF’s Marine Sciences and Fisheries Centre could prove beneficial to the sultanate in the form of increased exports of the variety and for aquaculture.
Wahida Nasser Alamry, a specialist in molecular biotechnology at the centre and an investigator of the project said, the species was identified through DNA barcoding – a technique used for characterising species of organisms using a short DNA sequence from a standard and agreed-upon position in the genome.
“Till now the species was known to be found mainly in the Indo-West Pacific region – from East Africa along the Indian Ocean coast to as far as the Malay Archipelago, and also along the Pacific Ocean coast to Japan in the north, and Australia.
“But with this find, Oman too will greatly benefit as this particular species is very popular with consumers in the sultanate and abroad and is sold at high prices.” It will not only help boost our lobster exports, but will also help researchers in this field, she said. “We collected samples of this species from Dhalkout, Duqm, Ashkara and Mirbat and one location in Yemen,” Wahida added.
SOURCE: MUSCAT DAILY