Earlier this year, Vale in Oman distributed 55 global positioning systems (GPS) and fish finder devices to local fishermen in Wilayat Liwa at a special ceremony that was held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Fuad bin Ja’afar Al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
A member of the community committed to the environment and people, Vale distributed the devices at the Harmool Village Majlis in an aim to promote best fishing practices for the sustainability of both natural resources and livelihoods.
Training courses were also organized at the Harmool Village Majlis and Nibr Village Majlis in Liwa to guide the fishermen on how to use the Arabic-enabled devices efficiently and enjoy the greatest possible outcome. Over two days, the fishermen learned how to refer to the device manuals, map courses to rich fishing sites and protect marine life while casting lines. They were also taught the benefits of utilizing technology for the sustainability of natural resources.
Vale’s joint initiative with the Ministry’s Department of Fisheries in Liwa integrates the advantages of the space-based global navigation satellite system with local fishing practices. Now armed with the knowledge and tools, fishermen in Liwa are able to set out routes across the seas and mark rich casting sites, especially during fish migrations and changes in sea conditions.
Sergio Espeschit, Vale in Oman’s Chief Executive Officer said, “We believe that the best way to make improvements is to work together, listen to what people need and join forces with local government entities to tailor-make programs that will improve their day-to-day lives. We concentrate our social development efforts to understanding the community’s dynamics through open dialogue and engagement and look to positively contribute to its growth.”
Local fisherman, Mohammed Saleh, said, “Vale and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ efforts have always been in tune with our way of life, and we are grateful for their contribution to the growth of this community. We enjoy strong relationships with both Vale and the Ministry because we all share an innate understanding of the importance of keeping to tradition while embracing new practices. With the GPS devices Vale has provided, we are able to use the tried and tested methods of our forefathers with the added benefits of planning and mapping out routes and identifying rich fishing sites.”
An extension of Vale’s corporate social responsibility agenda in Oman, this program follows a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries that saw 400 artificial reefs dropped in four different locations along the coast of Liwa. The project resulted in enhanced biodiversity and an increase in the number of fish in non-restricted fishing areas for commercial use. As well, four demarcation buoys equipped with solar powered navigation beacons were installed to mark and protect natural reef locations.