Muscat: The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) organised a beach clean-up on Masirah Island. Over 190 tonnes of waste mainly consisting of old fishing gear and nets, ropes and fishing lines were removed.
“Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear are globally known to be a major threat to marine species such as whales, dolphins and sea turtles, and through this programme we are attempting to work with the local fishermen to provide avenues for proper disposal of fishing gear, as well as cleaning up the sea turtle nesting beaches ahead of the nesting season,” said Antonia Vegh, Events and Volunteer Coordinator at Environment Society
“Turtles, which are the most affected, are known to nest on these beaches. We have been managing turtle conservation projects on Masirah Island for over a decade, and this clean-up is just one way for us to address the various threats that they face,” he said.
The seas of the Sultanate of Oman occupy an isolated corner of the Indian Ocean, where some of the world’s most varied and biologically productive waters are found.
From Al-Sharqiyah’s rocky coastline famous for turtle nesting to Al Wusta where the seas attract vast swarms of fish, ESO is eager to increase hands-on projects that not only achieve their environmental protection goals but also help raise public awareness and the need for conservation.
“One thing a lot of people doesn’t realise is that often when rubbish is left on the beach it will get swept up by the rising tide. This of course has a multiplier effect when it gets dragged into the sea and impacts marine life directly,” said Hussain Mohammed Al Lawati, Chief Commercial Officer at Renaissance Services.
The clean-up was organised with the sponsorship from Renaissance Services and the US Marine Turtle Conservation Fund and a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth, Masirah Municipality, National Ferries Company, Ecovision, Be’ah and volunteers.