On Saturday, 21st June 2014, Sohar Aluminium (SA) launched the “Sohar Aluminium Coral Reef Cleaning Campaign”, an initiative to conserve marine life and coral reefs. The campaign conducted in cooperation with the Directorate General of Fisheries in Al Batinah North Governorate, represented by the Department of Fisheries Development in Sohar reflects the continuing efforts of SA towards its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes aimed at maximizing its positive impact on the community.

The coral reef cleaning team comprised 35 volunteers from Sohar Aluminium, Sohar Department of Fisheries Development, Al Murjan Volunteering Team and local fishermen. Prior to the activity the team were briefed by SA on safety to ensure this activity is done safely and SA also distributed safety gear, including life jackets and GPS devices to all volunteers. Then they set sail, 35 km into the sea, where the divers were distributed and started cleaning the reefs. The activity took 4 hours, during which vast amounts of broken nets, cages and other forms of littering were removed from the coral reefs off the shores of Khor Al Siyabi, Al Suwaihra, Ghail Al Shubool, Al Uwainat and Majazz.

Coral reefs are underwater structures (mountains) formed by the subsidence of the Earth’s crust under the oceans. The geographical alterations provide the nutrients, limited depth and agitated waters needed for corals to thrive. Eventually, these stony corals form a micro-ecosystem that inhabits a vast diversity of marine life, and hence are dubbed “rainforests of the sea”.
In the depths of Omani waters is a paradise of coral reefs, inhabited by an array of marine life. These reefs, however, get polluted by broken nets, fishing cages, and littering. The sediments deposited onto reefs smother corals and interfere with their ability to feed and reproduce killing off several reef species. Abandoned fishing nets can entangle and kill reef organisms and break or damage reefs. Hence, enormous efforts are required to clean these reefs and save their ecosystem.

“Sohar Aluminium Coral Reef Campaign” aims at promoting SA’s ‘Zero Harm’ mindset in the local community and is part of SA social responsibility to preserve the integrity of the nature. SA hopes to make this campaign an annual activity and part of SA Volunteering Program. SA firmly believes in supporting and giving back to the local community it operates in through maximizing positive impact in community services, supporting downstream job creation, supporting and encouraging employees into community volunteering. These commitments establish Corporate Citizenship as one of the core Business Pillars of SA’s Business Strategy. SA has always been a leader in its volunteering activities, where a large number of its employees had a big role in launching excellent awareness campaigns and addressing community needs in deeply impactful ways.

Sohar Aluminium was formed in September 2004 to undertake a landmark Greenfield aluminium smelter project in the Sultanate of Oman and is jointly owned by Oman Oil Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC - TAQA and Rio Tinto Alcan.