MECA working to release 60,000 turtle hatchlings into the sea
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) has started a campaign to release as many as 60,000 turtle hatchlings into the sea over a period of three months in Ras al Hadd in South Sharqiyah.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Eng Salim al Maskari, director general for Environmental Affairs in South Sharqiyah, said, “The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs in cooperation with Oman LNG has launched the campaign to release turtle hatchlings into the sea in the period from mid-October to January.”
The campaign is an annual event, said Eng Maskari, adding that the first one was done in 2013. October-January is the period turtle eggs hatch, he said.
“In 2014 we released about 50,000 turtles into the sea and this year, we are aiming to release more than 60,000 turtles.”
A team is working daily from 8pm to 11pm and release hundreds of baby turtles into the sea. In the campaign the ministry is supported by the residents of the area. “Ras al Hadd is a national reserve, so the ministry seeks to protect the turtles and release them into the sea. They are a national treasure.”
Construction work close to the beaches is posing a major threat to the nesting of turtles. Fishing gear also puts turtles in danger while they also have to survive predator fish and birds.
“We urge residents in the area and fishermen to preserve turtles because a lot of visitors and tourists come to the region, thus contributing to the national economy.”