Crustaceans, such as penaeid shrimp, crabs and clawed and spiny lobsters have become very important of world annual fishery production due to high demand for them in world markets. Shrimps are regarded as the most consumed fishery products in most developed countries. The demand and high foreign exchange earnings have driven exploitation of most shrimp stocks to unhealthy levels.( Fahmy Mehanna et al., 2012)
Omani fishermen are in an upbeat mood as the three-month long shrimp season is to begin on September 1.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has regulated the shrimp catch to allow them to breed and protect the species. “This three-months’ shrimp catching season starting September 1 is the period during which the traditional or subsistence fishermen are allowed to catch the exclusive white shrimp from the coastal areas of Oman.
Omani coastal areas have 12 shrimp species but only four species are caught by the traditional nets including white Indian shrimp, white shrimp, tiger prawns and dotted shrimp.
Shrimps are found in the waters of Masirah Island, Mahout, Al Wusta, and South Al Sharqiyah. These shrimps are of high economic value and very nutritious besides having high demand in both the domestic and global markets.
In the Sultanate, fishermen catch white Indian shrimps and tiger shrimps due to their availability and large size.
Fishermen venture out to the sea at around 4am and continue work till 10am. The ministry has set certain guidelines such as the number of nets in every boat should be up to 20. Fishermen are able to catch at least 6kg of shrimps in each net. The regulations also say that no trawl nets shall be used to catch white shrimps.
One of most important economic fisheries in the Sultanate of Oman is lobster fishery, with annual production of 549 (ton) and total value of more than 2 million Omani Rial (O.R.), making it the valuable and highly priced among other marine crustaceans in Oman . At present four species of lobster are documented in the Omani waters , two of which are most common. The Scalloped spiny lobster Panulirus homarus is the highly abundant and exploited commercially, distributed mostly in the Arabian Sea. And other small fishery of Painted spiny lobster Panulirus versicolor, where it mainly found in Muscat and Musandam Governorate in Sea of Oman. Also the occurrence of the rare deepsea Japanese blunthorn lobster Palinustus waguensis is recorded for the first time in the waters of Oman. This species belong to the genus Palinustus which is represented by five species namely; P. truncatus A. Milne Edwards, 1880 , restricted to the western Atlantic, P. mossambicus Barnard, 1926 , known with certainty from the eastern coast of Africa, while both P. waguensis Kubo, 1963 , and P. unicornutus Berry, 1979 , are widely distributed in the Indo-West-Pacific and P. holthuisi, is found in Taiwan and Japan. (Al-Kharusi et al., 2019).