Muscat: Environment Society Oman (ESO) has completed another stage of its Turtle Research and Conservation project on the island of Masirah and announced continued efforts for Turtle Research and Conservation.
Sponsored by Port of Duqum and Oman Oil Company, the initiative examines three of the four marine turtle species on Masirah Island.
Masirah Island has one of the highest densities of loggerhead turtles in the world.
However, research has found that the habitat of this population is compromised; likely due to human activities, including beach driving, beach erosion, fishing, ingestion of marine litter and pollution, and encroachment of roads.
The species could now be facing extinction. Suaad Al Harthi, ESO’s programme director, said, “For years, people lived in harmony with these magnificent sea turtles, but today that coexistence is threatened by a number of issues that have caused them to become endangered.”
“Over the last decade, ESO has been working hard to identify the causes of this population’s decline and ways to protect them.”
The project includes research of turtle nesting populations and a number of community outreach and awareness activities for the conservation and preservation of these valuable species.
In addition, the project has also contributed to sustaining local livelihoods through the employment of residents of Masirah Island for more than five years.