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MUSCAT — As part of the national plan for managing coral reefs, the Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment and Water Resources has lowered around 50 artificial reef balls around Al Fahal Island. The ministry aims from the balls lowering operation to monitor coral growth, fish stock and other marine species and detect any human or natural damage to their habitat. The deployment of the reef structures was carried out by experts from the ministry, Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). The ministry has lowered as many as 380 reef balls since the inception of project in 1998, of which 250 structures were deployed in Al Damaniyat Island, 80 at Mina Al Fahal and 50 at Qalhat. So far, more than 75 types of corals were identified in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. — ONA

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