Speaking to Muscat Daily, Mohammed bin Amer al Hajri, director general for Environmental Affairs in South Sharqiyah, said, “MECA has launched the campaign to release turtle hatchlings into the sea in the period from October 1 to December.”
The campaign is an annual event, Hajri said, adding that the first one was conducted in 2013. October to January is the period when turtle eggs hatch.
“In 2013, we released 64,095 turtles into the sea, 59,183 in 2014 and 60,468 in 2017. We are aiming to release more than 60,000 turtles this year.”
The campaign aims to involve the local community in protecting the marine environment, protecting turtle hatchlings and returning them to the sea, and promoting this culture among young people. The campaign is attended by school students, civil and volunteer teams and others interested in social and environmental work.
Speaking of the challenges the creatures face, he said, “The strong light on beaches pose a major threat to the nesting of turtles. Fishing gear also put turtles in danger while they also have to survive predatory fish and birds. We urge residents and fishermen to preserve turtles because many visitors and tourists come to the region, thus contributing to the national economy.”