We report on results of a trawl survey during 2003–2004 to assess the abundance of demersal fish resources in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea. Samples were taken at a total of 316 trawl stations selected following a stratified random procedure. Catch rates (catch per unit area, CPUA) and total biomass were estimated. Total demersal fish biomass was estimated to be approximately 73,000 tonnes in Persian Gulf waters and approximately 39,000 tonnes in the Oman Sea. The lowest CPUA was recorded in the west of the study area (stratum A, approximately 1700 kg/n.m.2) and the highest in the east (stratum Q, 13943.4 kg/n.m.2), although density of commercially important species was higher in the central area (stratum K). Catch rate and biomass varied significantly in relation to seabed depth. Commercially important demersal species made up around 60% of the estimated total biomass. The most abundant species groups were rays, catfish, grunts, nemipterids and carangids. Several important species (e.g. silver pomfret, croakers and sharks) appear to have declined since the late 1970s while others, such as rays and catfish, have increased.
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