Fisheries is one of the main divisions in the Omani economy, providing about 54968 direct employment in 2020, and the costal sardine fisheries make a major contribution to the country's income. In this study, the fluctuations in abundance of the sardines especially Indian oil sardine Sardinella longiceps, a tropical small pelagic clupeid fish, was investigated during the years 1995 to 2020 in Oman. The results reveal that Oman fisheries including sardine stocks show fluctuations during the last 26 years (1995-2020), showing two periods of recession (1995-2011) and upturn (2012-2020). In the second period, small pelagic landings, mainly sardines, increased dramatically in Oman starting from 2012 (about 70,697 t), reaching a peak of 530,022 t in 2020. This reveals that the Omani small pelagics were heavily targeted during the last 10 years. However, so far, the small pelagic fisheries are not managed and there is a need for an urgent conservation and recovery plan before it is too late. In India, sardine landings were reported as high as a half million tones before it dropped to less than 55 thousand tons only in 2012, a scenario that could repeat itself in Oman in near future. To overcome this, sardine landings must be maintained according to the identified sardine’s biomass per given region, fishing effort must be carefully controlled and defined via a licensing system, sardine fishery must be closed every three years for at least one year to allow a fully recovery sardine stocks, reproductive biology, population dynamics and food and feeding habits of sardines should be studied in details and population size of jellyfishes which are larval and young fish predators of sardines should be monitored.
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