Fishing cages seem to be becoming more & more prolific in our waters. The last time I dived Ras Hamar, about 10 months ago, there were hardly any. This time there were tell-tale marker buoys everywhere. What, if anything, is being done to regulate fishing in the area? No-one wants to deny fishermen their livelihood but there has to be a more sustainable way of doing things. The fishermen don't dive - they don't know what's beneath them when they throw in their cages. Not only are the reefs getting destroyed, but the fishing cages are ending up in places where the fishermen can't retrieve them because the ropes get caught up in rocky features. No-one wins. The fishermen lose their cages and their catch, and the marine life perishes unnoticed.
Oman needs to wake up to what it has and what it's destroying. Even if the environment in itself isn't Oman's top priority, it has to understand the economic ripple-effect of its actions. Oman is intent on promoting itself as a tourist destination. Scuba-diving brings in big dollars (look at places like the Red Sea in Egypt). If things continue this way Oman will lose the very attractions that tourists come for. These marine creatures are worth a lot more alive in the sea than they are dead in a market, or rotting in a cage at the bottom of the ocean.
Please do something to protect marine life before it's too late!!
|Dead Guitar Sharks at Ras Hamar|
|Dead guitar sharks caught in abandoned fishing cages|