year (2001) being the Year of the Environment, in
Oman some marine-based companies have planned special trips to
explain the tourists about marine life and the importance of maintaining
and improving our environment.
tours of Arabian Sea Safaris, including coastal geology trips,
educational snorkeling trips, bird watching and yet to come live-boat
diving have become big hit with tourists.
Riyami, with his guests, ensures effective protection of dolphins
and whales when leading his tours
cruises within Muscat area and expeditions to nearby sites such
as the Damaniyat and Quriyat are popular. Last year it launched
theme trips that focus on different aspects of Omans vast
natural beauty, marine geology, conservation and a host of other
interesting topics like the maritime history of Oman as well as
the whale and dolphin fauna.
Welcoming the Year of the Environment, Mohamed Al Riyami,
of Arabian Sea Safaris, says one of the best ways to protect the
environment is to make sure that your activities are sustainable.
is they help you achieve your goals without in any way compromising
the ability of the future generations to achieve their goals.
care of the environment is important. For, marine tourism can
have adverse environmental impacts. In coastal areas uncontrolled
tourists may damage coral reefs with anchors.
yellow fin tuna weighing over 80
kgs caught off Muscat by guests of Arabian Sea Safaris
boats and jetskis may disturb or kill turtles and dolphins, while
camping parties on beaches may disturb laying turtles or disorient
hatchlings. Camping parties may leave litter and other human waste.
tourism to environmentally sensitive areas must be established
on the basis of prior study of ecosystems and planning, admits
he undertakes dolphin watching trips he not only ensures that
effective protection is in place before tourist activity starts
but also invites experts to deliver talks on different topics
during the cruise.
tourism, which includes a wide range of marine trips and adventure
such as dolphin and whale watching trips, sunset cruises, game
fishing, snorkeling, and diving to name only a few, calls for
exacting requirements of discerning tourists for whom quality
on dolphin watching cruise off Bander al Khyran
Oman being a seafaring nation is well
aware of this and has attracted world attention to its professionally
managed cruises with eco-friendly activities.
matter what kind of holiday you seek, Omans sea tourism
can provide it to you in terms of thrilling experience, peace
of mind, and new knowledge about the marine mammals.
marine destinations like Bandar Al Khayran, Al Hallaniyat, Bandar
al Jassah, Damaniyat, Quriyat, and Masirah offer worlds
most exciting vacation areas.
addition to Arabian Sea Safaris, several outstanding cruise companies,
including Zubair Tours and Bahwan Tours, to name only a few, have
been operating in the Sultanate, and their destinations offer
extraordinary variety from the natural wonders of Oman,
historic creeks and islands, peaceful coves and sculptured mountains,
to the exciting sport of fishing, snorkeling and diving.
Rutten, Executive Vice President of KLM ground Services said,
being back in the Netherlands where it is wet, cold and
windy my wife Tilly and I look back at a most enjoyable week in
your beautiful country.
the Dawn with the Dolphins experience and the close
view of the whales has been the most outstanding part of our stay.
Friends here at home cannot believe that it is possible to observe
these mammals so close by.
During the usual dolphin watching trips, other most regularly
seen species are spinner and common dolphins. Spinner dolphins
are usually about 2 metre long and weigh from 55 to 75 kg.
bodies have a three-part colour pattern: Their backs are dark
grey or black, their sides a pearl-grey and their chins and bellies
are light grey or even white. Males are generally larger than
the females. Spinner dolphins are slender in build and have long, thin
beaks to which the distinct forehead slopes gently.
beaks have a diagnostic black tip. The flippers are long and pointed
and a dark stripe links them to the eyes and beak.
Oman, Spinners travel in large groups of a thousand individuals
or more. They are most often seen in schools of two hundred or
fishermen search for tunas among many spinner and common dolphins
near Bander al Jissah
are often found in association with common dolphins, spotted dolphins
and yellowfin tuna. Spotting spinner dolphins in large groups
offers a thrilling experience to visitors.
dolphins can be very playful and curious and they often bowride.
They are dramatically acrobatic and often perform somersaults,
high spinning leaps and other aerial movements and can perform
jumps up to three meters in the air. Spinning on their longitudinal
axis is their trademark.
the means of splashing or landing on the water after the jumps
the spinner dolphins might dislodge parasites on their bodies,
they might use the jumps as a means for communication or just
display playful behaviour through it. The groups found off Muscat
are probably year round residents.
their name implies spinning in the air is characteristic of this
species. Spinner dolphins are found both offshore and inshore
in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide.
often occur within 2 or 3 kilometres off the shore in Oman and
are frequently to be seen between Fahal Island and Bandar Khayran
and often associate with common dolphins. Their life span is 15
to 25 years. Their predators are sharks, killer whales and tune
around the coast of Oman have confirmed that about 20 of the nearly
80 species of whales and dolphins are found here. Around the coast
of Muscat you will encounter hundreds of spinner dolphins mixed
with common dolphins.
a Dawn with Dolphin Trip tourists notice that all
around their boat the sea becomes alive with dolphins, spinning,
somersaulting and generally frolicking around. They eat, sleep,
give birth and suckle their young in the hostile marine environment,
for which they have become well adapted over millions of years.
dolphins, found in large numbers in Oman, are slender, streamlined
and are conspicuous for their criss-cross, hourglass colouration
pattern. Their blackish grey of the back extends down as a large
V-shaped saddle from the relatively large, upright dorsal fin.
Omans sea tourism offers several unique destinations and
activities. Take, for example, the game-fishing trips. Game fishing
is more exciting here than anywhere else in the world for two
the sport is much more affordable here than elsewhere. Says Riyami,
You dont need to be a millionaire to catch a 300-kg
black Marlin. Second, Omani waters are known to be a favourite
haunt of large pelagic game fish, including the Tuna, Swordfish,
Sailfish, Barracuda and Black Marlin. According to tourists making
repeated visits to Oman these fishes are quite often depleted
at other popular game fishing locations. So game fishing
in Oman offers great potential and virgin territory.
may think game fishing isnt an eco-friendly affair. That,
however, is not true, argue marine-based companies.
by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA), game fishing
is essentially confined to Tag and Release.
tag-and-release fishing, a plastic tag with a tiny barb attached
is inserted into the shoulder of the fish when caught.
fishing boats of Arabian Sea Safaris are equipped to international
tag carries a number and the address of the issuing authority.
Details such as weight and length of the fish are recorded, as
well as precisely where and when it was captured.
gives rise to a databank, which provides useful information on
growth rate and length of life and migration patterns of these
fish have turned up in some unlikely and far-off places. If a
tagged fish is captured, the tag is removed and returned to the
supplier, who maps the fishs progress.
ocean dwelling fish swim at speeds of 4 to 15 knots constantly
without stopping for rest. According to Riyami, Black Marlin and
sailfish can travel up to 120 miles in a day.
tuna fish tagged by New South Wales Fishery in Australia was once
caught in the Gulf of Oman, indicating that the fish had travelled
450 kms. A blue marlin caught off the northeastern coast of the
US and tagged there was recaptured in off the West Coast of Africa.
the past few years, Oman has emerged as an exciting new destination
for game fishermen because Omani waters are a haven for bait fish
the sardines, mackerel and squid that is the staple
diet of these large pelagics.
has long been an important source of income for Omani fishermen,
who follow tuna in season. About eight miles off the coast of
Oman, there is a drop off where the seabed goes down from 260
metres to depth of 2,000 metres.
deepest parts of the ocean off the Sultanate are in the Indian
Ocean between Sur and Masirah Islands, which reaches depths of
160 nautical miles off the coast between Sur and Masirah Island
is a deep-sea ridge that ultimately runs into the Somalia basin.
ridges are a favourite haunt of the game fishermen because it
is at these ridges in the deep sea where the bait fish hide in
information visit website: www.arabianseasafaris.com
Adapted from Oman Observer Newspaper. Nizwa.NET is not responsible