Dead Fish Swamp Omani Coast
Earth Changes TV, September 4, 2000
Huge numbers of dead fish have been washed up on the coast of Oman for the second time in a week. Omani TV showed fish strewn along the coast in Barka province, on the Gulf of Oman, 50 miles (80km) north-west of the capital Muscat. Large quantities of the fish littered beaches along the neighbouring governorate of Muscat last week. An official from the Omani Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry told the TV station that the fish had died of natural causes and there had been no environmental disaster in Oman's waters. Cold currents entered the Gulf of Oman from the Arabian Sea bringing organisms called phytoplankton, Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Guidance Eng Saud Bin-Humud al-Haysi said. These organisms and plants attached to them used up large amounts of the oxygen which sea-bed fish need to survive. Unlike surface fish, sea-bed fish are not able to move fast to find areas free of phytoplankton.
Local fishermen said they had never seen anything quite like it. "It might last for a day or two with small quantities, but not like this," one said. "The fish have never been stranded like this." The fishermen fear that if this carries on their livelihoods will be threatened, but Mr al-Haysi believes there is no great cause for concern. "We have examined quantities today," he said. "If the phenomenon continues, then it may have a medium-term effect. "But we do not expect the quantities we examined today to affect the fishermen noticeably..." Oman, which boasts 1,050 miles (1,700 km) of coastline, has a flourishing fishing industry exporting throughout the Arabian peninsula as well as to the European Union.