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​​​​​​​New species of Omani marine dwellers are described regularly. The most recent is the remarkable discovery of dragonet fish (Callionymus omanensis) caught off Salalah coast at a depth of 500 metres. In addition, there have recently been discoveries of new corals, guitar fishes, freshwater fishes and bivalve mollusks.


Fishing is one of the oldest and most important industries in the country, with many local families relying on it as a source of income. The marketables include not only diverse fish species, but also crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, lobsters) and mollusks (squids, cuttlefish, abalone).




The coral reefs of the Sultanate are famous tourist attractions and harbor approximately 110 species of coral, ten of which are regional endemics.

Both fishes and marine invertebrates contribute greatly to the economy of Oman. Therefore, a proper account of the species, and development of clear policies regarding the industrial and recreational use of the marine habitats, is essential for future sustainability.


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Demersal Fishes


  • Live and feed on or near the bottom of the sea
  • Found at depths of 1,500m or more.
  • Live in small and large groups.


Divided into two main types:

  • Benthic fishes rest on the sea floor.
  • Benthopelagic fishes float in the water column just above the sea floor.


  • Make up 32% of fish landed in Oman.

Important Benthic Omani species include:

  • Sapridae
  • Lenthrinidae
  • Serranidae
  • Sceinidae
  • Lutjanidae
  • Siganidae




(Source: Costal Fishes of Oman 1995, Marine Species of the Sultanate of Oman. Marine Science and Fisheries Center, ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries)