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.