There is no doubt that Oman has a huge potential for aquaculture and can expand into shrimp farming, marine cage culture, crab fattening etc. There is a wide scope, but project planning and budgeting will be key for the success. There would be however, high overhead costs, as manpower has to be recruited from other countries. Automation can help overcome that to some extent.
I recently visited the first commercial aquaculture project in Oman as a consultant. The shrimp farm was constructed in 2006-07 was managed until 2013. The farm grew P.indicus in earthen ponds. So, I started my assessment on the business and technical feasibility of shrimp farming in Oman. After visiting the site, i was surprised to see the design and layout of farm with 5 ha ponds, open canal for seawater pumping where it is against the gravity with 2 m elevation difference etc.
The Shanfari group under which the farm comes, is now planning a major modification. The total production is estimated to be around 4000 tonnes, which is divided into 6 phases. Each phase has 66 ha, with a 6 ha reservoir with a 6 ha ETP and the remaining for ponds including dikes and canals. Ideally, each pond will be 1 ha. Lined ponds will have zero water exchange and biofloc systems would be used.
The advantages for this part of Oman where the farm is located are:
Overall, Oman will be one of the best places for investment in Aquaculture with a proper project plan.