MUSCAT: Overall fish catch volumes in the sultanate in the first half of this year have remained similar to the same period in 2013 while the value of traditional fishery has seen a 15.8 per cent increase.

A National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) report, ‘Total and Value Fish Landed by Species’ puts the overall volume from traditional, coastal and commercial at 107,182 tonnes in H1 2014 compared to 107,284 tonnes during the same period last year.

According to the report, while catch through traditional methods marginally declined by 0.1 per cent – 105,213 tonnes in H1 2014 – compared to last year’s 106,313 tonnes, its total value grew by 15.8 per cent to reach RO89.8mn compared to RO77.5mn in H1 2013. Muscat governorate saw a 16.7 per cent decline in traditional fishery volume.

Coastal fishing volumes witnessed a substantial growth of 154 per cent from 632 tonnes in H1 2013 to 1,604 tonnes in the first half of this year.

Commercial fishing recorded a 7.8 per cent increase from 339 tonnes landed in H1 2013, to 365 tonnes during H1 2014.

Elaborating more on traditional catch by species, the report said that catch of demersal fish increased 3.7 per cent from 28,514 tonnes to 29,568 tonnes.

Large pelagic fish landings declined 1.3 per cent (28,931 tonnes from 29,299 tonnes in H1 2013). There was a four per cent decline in the catch of smaller pelagic varieties, from 42,217 tonnes in H1 2013 to 40,547 tonnes landed during the same period this year.

The quantity of sharks and rays landed in H1 2014 stood at 4,024 tonnes compared to 4,252 tonnes, a 5.4 per cent decline. The overall landing of crustaceans increased 46.1 per cent from 220 tonnes in H1 2013 to 321 tonnes this year.

Mollusc catch too increased from 783 tonnes in H1 2013 to 1,010 tonnes in the same period this year (a 28.9 per cent rise). Catch of other fishes declined 21 per cent to 811 tonnes from 1,027 tonnes in H1 2013.