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

Al Masroori, HSH 2008 , 'An assessment of the commercial trawl fishery of the Sultanate of Oman using the ecologically sustainable development framework', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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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
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.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Al Masroori, HSH
Keywords: Fishery management, Sustainable fisheries, Fisheries
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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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