Omani journalists flee for their lives after trying to net illegal expat fishermen

Omani journalists flee for their lives after trying to net illegal expat fishermen
An Omani film crew investigating illegal fishing off the country's coast got more than they bargained for when hostile sailors took the bait and tried to sink their vessel.
2 min read
27 September, 2017
The Omani journalists were forced to flee the scene [AFP]
An Omani film crew faced a gripping end to their story this week when the illegal fishermen they were investigating chased away and tried to sink their boat.

The journalists set sail off the coast of Oman, where they went look into the practice of criminal shrimp fishing with banned drift nets off the coast of the sparsely populated al-Wusta governate.

Unhappy with the intrusion into their activities, a group of angry expatriate fisherman gave chase to the camera crew from Oman TV who were filming them at sea, forcing them to flee for their lives, Oman Observer reported.

The Omani Journalists' Association said the crew was attacked and the illegal workers tried to sink their vessel in the middle of the sea.

"We strongly condemn the attack against the TV team by expatriates in the middle of the sea, and considers it an act of aggression on media people's lives," the association said.

"The authorities should protect journalists and media representatives wherever they are and punish whoever tries to curb journalistic work."

Shrimp fishing is a lucrative business in Oman with the season taking place between the start of September and November.

Oman's ministry of fisheries ban the use of all nets apart from the locally-made Ghadf Gil circular net to prevent overfishing. Only Omanis can obtain fishing licenses although many expatriates illegally work in the industry.

Illegal fishermen face up to three months in jail and a huge fine if they are caught.