The waters of the Gulf of Oman are rich in sardines, mackerel, shrimp, lobsters, crayfish, tuna, barracudas, groupers, and sharks. The annual catch in 2000 was 415,885 tons, mainly sardines. Fishing employs about 26,000 persons. Recent investment in onshore processing and refrigeration plants, harbors, and repair yards has facilitated commercial fishing development. Exports of fish products amounted to $51.3 million in 2000. The government subsidizes the cost of boats and engines to promote employment in fishing. Fish stocks and breeding patterns are studied at a research center south of Muscat. In 1996, three new fishing harbors were opened (at Bukha in Musandam, Quriyat, and Shinas), at a combined cost of r 10.3 million and with a capacity for about 1,000 small boats.