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Piontkovski S.A.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Oufi H.S.,Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth
International Journal of Environmental Studies | Year: 2015

Interdecadal changes in oxygen depletion, with a special reference to artisanal landings of large pelagic fishes, were analysed. Data from 53 expeditions incorporating 29,043 vertical profiles of temperature and 2114 of dissolved oxygen implied an increase in temperature of 1.2 °C over the past 50 years in the upper 30 m layer of sea water during the south-west (summer) monsoon. The thermal stratification of the water column increased and the oxycline shoaled from 153 m in the 1960s to 80 m in the 2000s. Concentration of dissolved oxygen <3.5 mL L−1 is known to induce symptoms of stress for many tropical pelagic fishes, compressing them within upper layers and exposing them to fishery. The habitat compression by the Oman shelf hypoxia has two components: a seasonal oxycline shoaling and an interdecadal trend. © 2015, © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Piontkovski S.A.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Oufi H.S.,Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth
Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science | Year: 2014

Historical data on vertical distribution of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen concentration, eco-soundings and artisanal fish landings were used, to investigate the relationship between characteristics of the oxygen minimum zone and fish landings along the Omani shelf (in the western Arabian Sea). It was shown that seasonal shoaling of the oxycline shifts the deepened layer of myctophids up to the surface and closer to the coast which in turn favors accumulation of pelagic predators in the same locality. Both phenomena lead to a compressing of the habitat and increasing artisanal landings. The factors mediating seasonal changes of the oxygen minimum zone are discussed here. © 2014 Academic Journals Inc.

Piontkovski S.A.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Oufi H.S.,Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth | Al-Jufaili S.,Sultan Qaboos University
Marine Fisheries Review | Year: 2014

Monthly data on Muscat's landings of the Indian oil sardine, Sardinella longiceps, along with 23 environmental parameters ( sea surface temperature, temperature of the mixed layer, wind speed, kinetic energy of mesoscale eddies, concentration of nitrates, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a, abundance of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and several others) were analyzed for the period 1994-2011. Seasonal changes were associated with the time of the winter (Northeast) monsoon, with maximal landings in February. The multiple regression analysis of the statistically significant variables selected through the Principal Component Analysis has implied that 51% of seasonal variability in sardine landings might be approximated by the seasonal variations of the zonal component of wind speed and chlorophyll-a concentration in the coastal and open-sea regions. In terms of interannual changes, sardine landings exhibited a declining trend from 2001 to 2011 (the time covered by the most complete data set). Rising sea temperature, thermal stratification of the water column, and the trophic pressure imposed on sardine populations by large pelagic predators (talang queenfish, Scomberoides commersonnianus; kingfish, Scomberomorus commerson; longtail tuna, Thunnus tonggol; and some others) might be the factors mediating this trend.

First record of Atractoscion aequidens (Sciaenidae) from the Arabian Sea Coasts of Oman and Acanthopagrus catenula (Sparidae) from the Oman Sea (Gulf of Oman), northwestern Indian Ocean (Teleostei, Sciaenidae, Sparidae).- The frst record of Atractoscion aequidens from the Arabian Sea coasts of Oman and Acanthopagrus catenula from waters around City of Muscat on the Sea of Oman is reported based on one (671 mm in SL) and ten specimens (111-257 mm SL), respectively. This account represents the second record of A. aequidens in the northern Indian Ocean and the northernmost record of A. catenula in the same ocean. Morphometric and meristic data are provided for the two species and compared with those from specimens collected from other parts of the world. The southern distribution of A. catenula is corrected in this report. © [2012] the authors licensee the journal.

Goddard S.,Sultan Qaboos University | Delghandi M.,Sultan Qaboos University | Dobretsov S.,Sultan Qaboos University | Al-Oufi H.,Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth | And 2 more authors.
Marine Biotechnology | Year: 2015

With its diverse, living marine resources and rapidly growing educational and research infrastructure, the Sultanate of Oman is well-positioned to take advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by marine biotechnology. In recognition of potential development, an international symposium, Marine Biotechnology—Emerging Opportunities and Future Perspectives, was held in Muscat, November 12–13, 2013. Three keynote addresses were given, 23 oral presentations made, and a poster exhibition held. The final session reviewed national and regional issues, and the delegates agreed informally on a number of future actions. The potential for future development of marine biotechnology was recognized by all delegates, and following the symposium, they were surveyed for their views on how best to sustain and develop new activities. One hundred percent of respondents found the meeting useful and would support future symposia in the region. Fifty-one percent of Omani respondents recognized major organizational challenges and obstacles to the development of marine biotechnology compared with 23 % of overseas respondents. The need for greater collaboration between research institutions within the GCC region was recognized by 98 % of all respondents. The presentations and survey outcomes are reviewed in this paper. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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