Causes and mitigations on trap ghost fishing in Oman: Scientific approach to local fisher's perception

Hussein S. Al-Masroori*, H. Al-Oufi, Paul McShane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate the ghost fishing problem in Sultanate of Oman. The questionnaire survey on trap ghost fishing in Oman provided information on rates of trap loss, the financial cost to fishers, the cause of trap loss and the circumstances leading to non recovery of fish traps. Each trap fisher in the Omani fishery owned and fished on average 20.4 traps per fishing day and each trap had a mean useful lifetime 5.7 months. The study revealed that a total of 15,390 traps or 18 traps per fisher are lost every year in the study area. Once lost, these traps remain functional and on average continue to ghost fish for a period of 3.1 months per year. The three main causes of trap loss were gear interference, theft and/or vandalism, and collisions with boats and ships. Economic losses resulting from ghost fishing by traps was estimated to be 1,011.594 O.R. (USS 2.63 million). equivalent to 2.1% of the total landing value of the Omani fishery in 2006. To reduce ghost fishing it is recommended that traps be better marked, that they the equipped with timed-release or degradable or panels, and that openings be included in the traps for the release of sub legal size fish. Conflicts with other fishing vessels and other types of gear could be reduced by implementing a zonation policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Gear conflict
  • Oman
  • Questionnaire survey
  • Trap loss rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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