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Awareness drive to protect turtles in Oman

ESO engages 180 students from three schools on Masirah Island

  • Shaikh Sulaiman Bin Saleem Al Mahrouqi, Wali of Masirah, (L) Saleem Al Junaibi, Acting Director of the DepartmImage Credit:
  • Students at a school in Masirah Island during awareness drive.Image provided by Environment Society of OmanImage Credit:
Gulf News

Masirah: The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) engaged more than 180 students from three schools from Masirah Island, 400km east of Muscat, during a week-long public awareness drive on the importance of protecting the loggerhead turtles and the biodiversity of the region.

The campaign was part of the fourth annual Masirah Festival for Loggerhead Turtles and included a host of fun-filled activities such as beach clean ups and football games funded by BP Oman.

“We believe that working hand in hand with the community is fundamental to our mission of connecting people living in Oman to their environment so they become agents of change,” said Omar Al Riyami, ESO Community Outreach Manager.

“We are driven by a commitment to protect our natural and marine habitant and hope our work in Masirah will lead to the development of a National Turtle Conservation Strategy which is essential to protecting the 30,000 females loggerhead turtles that are in Oman alone,” he added

Members from the Society also had the opportunity to meet Shaikh Sulaiman Bin Saleem Al Mahrouqi, Governor of Masirah, Saleem Al Junaibi, Acting Director of the Department of Environment and Climate Affairs in South Al Sharqiya Governorate, and local fishermen to discuss ways of reducing the incidental capture of loggerhead turtles, along with other sea creatures.

These incidental captures are the greatest threat to the marine environment, wasting a valuable natural resource and causing dramatic declines in populations of many marine species. The loggerhead turtle is considered an endangered species and is categorised under the red list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.