Department of Marine Science and Fisheries

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Marine Science and Fisheries is the new name of the former Department of Fisheries Science and Technology. This evolution reflects changes that are taking place in the world of applied marine sciences. Fisheries is no longer the science of catching fish: it is integrated with many other fields of studies such as marine ecology, aquaculture, coastal zone management and marine conservation.
Because of its extensive coastline, marine ecosystems are an important part of the development of the Sultanate. In the future, fisheries but also aquaculture, marine tourism and nature conservation will play an increasing role in sustainable growth of the economy. Our students, our staff and our faculties are participating in this exciting avenue.

The introduction of a single degree, B.Sc in Marine Science and Fisheries, was approved by the College Board in May 2000. This new degree plan was innovative and flexible, allowing students to specialize in either Marine Science or Fisheries options or to complete a degree combining specialization courses from both fields. Minors in Agricultural Economics, Food Science and Animal Science and Health were also approved. 

A range of new courses in subject areas identified for their importance in terms of future employment possibilities for graduates has been identified.

These included a Marine Science Practicum and courses in Seafood Quality, Advanced Aquaculture, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Marine pollution and Conservation, Marine Natural Products, Marine Tourism, Marine Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Marine Microbiology, Marine Vertebrate Zoology and Marine Invertebrate Zoology. The introduction of a range of new courses placed considerable demand on all faculty and staff in terms of teaching, courses development and the establishment of new instructional resources and facilities. 

All staff retained a full loading of students as advisors. In addition to SQU students staff members were also engaged in the supervision of PhD candidates in the UK,  Denmark and Germany.

 

 

The Department offers three programs as follow: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Fisheries
  • Master of Science in Marine Science and Fisheries
  • PhD in Marine Science and Fisheries

The Department of Marine Science and Fisheries focuses its research on several main areas, i.e. Marine Sciences and Oceanography, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology.

In fisheries research, faculty and staff carry out basic research on fish taxonomy, ichthyology and fish physiology. Fish stock assessment, determination of broodstock and migration patterns as well as class-size variations are being used as important parameters for fisheries management in the coastal zones of the Sultanate of Oman.

The Department scientists are also engaged in the study of benthic and pelagic coastal communities in our waters. Reef communities, for instance, are not only important to fishermen but contribute to global biodiversity and have tremendous tourism potential.
Finally, the department scientists are actively involved in a number of marine biotechnology programs. This includes investigation of biofouling in Oman waters, isolation of bioactive compounds from marine organisms and the development of various forms of aquaculture. Contributions by our faculty in the design of a National Aquaculture Development Plan and in aquaculture research and development are playing a significant role in the quest for enhancement of overall marine resources for the Sultanate.

 

Recent Research Publication

Through his MSc research, Mr. Hussain Al-Aghbari made some intriguing and potentially exciting observations regarding the nutrient limitation of Phytoplankton communities. Nutrients are the mineral and sometimes organic soluble components that limit the growth of the primary producers in the Ocean. Using a factorial experiments in which many combination of many possible nutrients were added to natural phytoplankton communities, Hussain identified two “regime” of nutrient limitation; a post-spring bloom regime in which the traditional Nitrogen and to a lesser extend Phosphorus limits the growth of the community and a pre-spring bloom regime in which the community seem to be limited by either trace metals such as Cobalt or Manganese and zinc and organic nutrient such as vitamin B12  and B1.
This discovery may lead to a better understanding of the environmental factors that control the development of algal blooms and in particular harmful algal bloom that mostly depends on allogenic Vitamin Bs for their growth. 

The Department provides students with theoretical and practical training in numerous fields of marine sciences and fisheries. The students receive a general scientific background in marine sciences and then choose to pursue their training in one of the specializations offered by the degree program: marine science and ecology, fisheries science and technology and aquaculture.

 

Specific Internship Objectives

Oceanography and Marine Biolog

  1. Measurements of ocean physical, biological and chemical parameters (temperature, salinity, DO, fluorescence, pH, current, etc.) using  boceanographic equipment.
  2. Sampling of marine organisms for scientific purposes (plankton, fish larvae, fish, benthos…).
  3. Acquisition and analysis of remotely sensed data (satellite analysis, mapping, bathymetric survey, echosounding analysis etc.).
  4. Techniques of environmental monitoring and identification of industrial or urban marine pollution (oil, heavy metals, heat, sewage…).

Fisheries Science and Technology

  1. Acquisition and analysis of fisheries data including morphometrics of fish or invertebrates, age determination, age analysis.
  2. Sampling of fish and invertebrate for fisheries purpose.
  3. Acquisition of bioeconomic fisheries data such as fishing effort cost of fishing, catch/effort data in the field and in government statistics.
  4. Scientific evaluation of sea food quality (bacterial, toxicity, freshness). 
  5. Design of equipment or gears used in aquaculture, fisheries or marine sciences.
  6. Processing of sea food and product development for animal or human consumption.
  7. Utilization of fishery product for the manufacture of fish meals and marine oils.

Aquaculture

  1. Management and operation of fish and shellfish farms (water quality, feed development, hatchery techniques, sea trials, marketing, etc.).
  2. Life-food culture (microalgae isolation and culture, rotifer and Artemia culture).
  3. Methods and techniques of pathogen identification and treatment in farmed fish and shellfish.

Head of the Department:

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov


Department of Marine Science and Fisheries
College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
PO Box 34, Al-khod 123
Sultanate of Oman
Phone: (+ 968) 2414 3750
Fax:       (+ 968) 2441 3418
Email:   sergey@squ.edu.om


Departmental Coordinator

Nadia Mohd Al-Kalbani


Department of Marine Science and Fisheries
College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
PO Box 34, Al-khod 123
Sultanate of Oman
Phone: (+ 968) 2414 1246
Fax:       (+ 968) 2441 3418
Email:   nadiak@squ.edu.om