Oman Pelagic launches 84-meter-long Indian Ocean tuna-fishing vessel

The Acila, Oman Pelagic's new tuna vessel.

Oman Pelagic has launched a state-of-the-art tuna-fishing vessel with plans to operate it in the Indian Ocean.

Dubbed the Acila, the new vessel is 84 meters in length and boasts a capacity of 1,800 cubic meters. The new fishing vessel will be flagged to Oman and will fish for various tuna species in international waters in the Indian Ocean, according to Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), a government-operated group aiding in the development of Oman’s seafood sector.

“This remarkable vessel, built to the highest international standards, is a testament to FDO's commitment to sustainable fishing practices and the economic growth of Oman's fisheries sector,” the organization said in a 20 August press release. “The Acila is not just a vessel; It symbolizes the future of Oman's fisheries, exemplifying innovation, sustainability, and economic development.”

The vessel, built by the Zamakona Pasaia Shipyard in Pasajes, Spain, is the first of two tuna vessels commissioned by Oman Pelagic, which is leading Oman’s charge to expand its wild-catch fisheries capacity as part of the country’s larger Oman Vision 2040” seafood industry development plan. Oman Pelagic CEO Dawood Al Wahaibi said the government has backed Oman Pelagic and the country’s aquaculture, processing, and technology sectors as a means to grow and develop its seafood industry.

Fishing has always been part of the story of Oman, and we have embarked on an ambitious plan to expand on our fisheries resources in a sustainable way,” he told SeafoodSource at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global. “Oman has been dependent on oil and gas for many years, and to diversify our economy, a decision was made by the government to develop other sectors. And one of the main pillars of that plan is fisheries." 

Al Wahaibi said sustainability is a serious consideration in the development push, and that the new vessel and its soon-to-be-constructed sister ship have sustainable technologies integrated into their design and operation.

Sustainability holds a crucial position in the business strategy of Fisheries Development Oman. The company strongly emphasizes the responsible use of renewable resources such as biomass and small pelagic to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishing industry,” he said. “The vessel is designed to operate efficiently, maximizing catch potential while minimizing environmental impact.”

Fisheries Development Oman CEO Nabil bin Salim Al Bimani said while sustainability is a major factor in the investment into Oman’s seafood sector, it must also create profits.

"The Acila embodies our commitment to sustainable fishing practices and showcases our dedication to maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry. With this investment, we reinforce Oman's position as an attractive destination for local and international investors seeking growth opportunities in the aquaculture sector,” Al Bimani said. “It is a significant step towards diversifying Oman's economy and harnessing the immense potential of its fisheries sector, in line with the Vision 2040 objectives of Food Safety and Security for the Sultanate of Oman.”

Photo courtesy of Fisheries Development Oman


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