Department of Marine Science and Fisheries (MSF) of the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences (CAMS) at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) hosted a collaborative international workshop on innovative marine management techniques on December 4 and 5th 2018. There were over 50 participants and 14 presenters, including local representatives from CAMS Faculty, Staff and Students, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth (MAFW), Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC), Oman Natural History Museum (ONHM), and the Environmental Society of Oman (ESO).
The workshop was organized by Dr. Alyssa Marshell (MSF) and Dr. Joseph DiBattista (Australian Museum) with funding graciously received from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT), Council of Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR).
The aim of the workshop was to address and highlight Arabian and Australian marine management needs, and broaden relationships between the countries and local organizations via an exchange of information on real world applications of new technologies and innovative marine monitoring approaches based on “genomic toolkits” and monitoring of environmental DNA (eDNA).
The first day of the workshop focused on the “Natural History of the Omani Coast”, with presentations from MSF Faculty on Oman’s diverse marine environments, and overviews of the MECA, OAPGRC, and ONHM research programs highlighted. The second day focused on “Advances in Marine Monitoring Technologies”, with a particular focus on genetic/genomic applications in Oman and Australia. Presenters on the second day came from a wide range of international institutions, including the Australian Museum, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), New York University Abu Dhabi, Chabahar Maritime University (Iran), Curtin University (Western Australia), and University of New England (New South Wales, Australia).
The workshop facilitated important discussions among local and international researchers and organizations. It is hoped that the reciprocal sharing of knowledge in these scientific ﬁelds will promote future collaborations, and also lead to better monitoring and protection of important marine habitats in the face of increasing local and global impacts, such as pollution, overfishing, coastal development and climate change.