University Of Tasmania
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An assessment of the commercial trawl fishery of the Sultanate of Oman using the ecologically sustainable development framework

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posted on 2023-05-26, 22:12 authored by Al Masroori, HSH
The Sultanate of Oman has devoted particular attention to the development of the fisheries sector as a mechanism to increase fisheries' share in the GDP, foreign exchange, food security and food quality, private sector investment and socioeconomic well-being of fishers. However, as a signatory to Agenda 21 Oman has not yet made an attempt to assess the overall performance of her fisheries sector with respect to the core principles of sustainable development. This study aims to assess the performance of the commercial trawl fishery of Oman covering the period 1997- 2006 by measuring its impacts on the society and the environment. Considering the relevance and suitability to the fishery, the Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) framework was used for this assessment. A field observation onboard a fishing vessel and a consultation review process involving all stakeholders was carried out to facilitate the identification of the ESD framework components. A set of relevant indicators were then developed to assess the progress with respect to their operational objectives identified from the country's natural resources management policy or, when not available, from the recognized international treaties. This process was structured following the Sustainable Development Reference System (SDRS) guidelines and aimed to gain the acceptance of the fisheries stakeholders. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) was then used to assess the progress of each component with respect to its objective toward sustainability. This process involved the calculation and assignment of indicator scores, reference points and weight level (standardization and weighted summation). Following the MCDA results, sensitivity analysis was worked out for five different scenarios representing some adjustment in the MCDA inputs values and the policy preferences of various stakeholders involved. The objectives of this sensitivity analysis were to test the variation in the model in order to increase the confidence and provide new and useful information. The study period was divided into two periods: the '1998 management scheme' covering the period 1998-2001 and the '1997 management scheme' covering the period 1997 and 2002-2006. Sensitivity analysis results revealed that the year 2001 was the most preferred option for all cases except for the short-term financial preference case, where the year 2006 was the most preferred year. It was observed that with the exception of 2001, which showed the best overall performance, the overall scores aggregated over all components, maintained a similar trend. Close investigation of scores of all options for effects on human revealed that the 1998 management scheme performed weakly with obvious strength and significant performance in the effects on environment. It was also found that the 1997 management scheme mostly targeted short-term financial returns more than any other cases. Contrary to this, the 1998 management scheme was more balanced and favored conservation (long-term preferences) over short-term financial returns. The results gave special attention and priority to the year 2001 and hence to the 1998 management scheme. Therefore, management schemes practiced in the period 1998- 2001, are considered to be the best choice for both long-term financial and conservation preferences and hence they are the best option toward sustainability. In order to give a wider view and determine the status of the fisheries governance, further MCDA was carried out to investigate the effect of the management schemes at indicators and criteria level. This exercise identified the sustainability index of criteria and indicators. The 1998 management scheme was distinguishable from the other by its higher criteria and indicators' sustainability indices. Based on overall analysis, it was found that the year 2001, which fell within the 1998 management scheme period, was the most preferred year. Therefore, the management measures practiced in the period 1998-2001, are considered to be the most suitable for the advancement towards the ESD principles. However, it is concluded that overall attainment toward sustainability is below par. Based on the key findings (observational as well as analytical), some central policy recommendations have been suggested for better fisheries governance and better attainment of sustainability.


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Copyright 2008 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

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