Green sea turtle Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: A green turtle tagged in Oman 21 years ago has returned to the country’s shores, to nest at Ras Al Hadd beach, eastern part of Oman

The turtle was tagged on August 21 1997, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs.

“After 21 years, this green turtle returned to nest on Ras Al Hadd beach in South Al Sharqyiah on July 18, 2018,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The turtle swam thousands of miles around the world before returning to the Sultanate again. The turtles’ reserve in Ras Al Hadd has attracted a large number of green turtles for nesting because of its unique, natural beaches,” the ministry added.

An official at the ministry told Gulf News that inspectors at the reserve identified the turle from its tag number which was given it in 1997.

Data on the turtle’s length, width and weight are linked to the tag number assigned to it.

“It’s tag number is 328056, which has all the data about the green turtles, including the length, width, weight etc. after going through the data. It was found that the turtle was tagged in 1997,” he said.

The Ras Al Hadd sanctuary is the favourite nesting site for green turtles in the Indian Ocean.

Oman is home to five species of turtles—Green Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle, in addition to Hawksbill Turtle and Leatherback Turtle.

Four out of the five turtles lay their eggs on Ras Al Hadd’s sandy beaches, according to Ministry of Tourism.

Marine biologists began tagging the turtles in 1977 to monitor their movement, migration and nesting patterns.

-Fahad is a freelance journalist based in Muscat