Muscat: Members of the Environment Authority's “Turtle Commandos” program organised the largest campaign so far to clean the beaches of Masirah Island in the South Al Sharqiyah Governorate with the slogan 'A clean environment preserved by all' before the start of the sea turtle nesting season, with the participation of more than 250 volunteers from all states and governorates of the Sultanate of Oman and government, private institutions and members of the local community.
Manar bint Abdullah Al-Riyami, head of the Turtle Commandos Program, explained that Masirah Island includes the most important nesting sites for endangered sea turtles, and Masirah Island is the second largest site in terms of area in the world for nesting turtles (Al-Raymani), and hence this campaign is the first of its kind on Sultanate of Oman, where the recreational and tourism aspect was introduced along with the environmental volunteering aspect.
She added that the 3-day campaign included collecting more than 2,500 damaged fishing nets and more than 6,000 trash bags. The waste was mostly single-use plastic, mineral and gas water bottles, damaged fishing nets, and plastic bags that constitute an obstacle to the life of the marine environment, and cleaning coral reefs from nets and other waste. And work to improve the general view to be better touristic, in addition to spreading awareness in the community about the importance of environmental volunteering and caring for the environment.
She pointed out that organising the campaign stems from the necessity of protecting the environment and sustaining its natural resources and emphasizing the importance of preserving the picturesque Omani environment as a national priority, as Masirah Island is one of the important sites for the appearance of whales and dolphins.