We Love Oman: A safe home for sea turtles

Oman Tuesday 08/December/2020 21:50 PM
By: Times News Service
We Love Oman: A safe home for sea turtles

Oman is home to many species of turtles, the Green Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and the Leatherback Turtle being the prominent ones. Of these, the green turtle has one of the biggest nesting sites in the Ras Al Hadd sanctuary — one of the largest nesting sites in the Indian Ocean. The Masirah Island on the other side is an important nesting site for the Loggerhead turtle.

The nesting season begins in April and continues till August, the time when around thousands of sea turtles land in the Ras Al Hadd sanctuary to lay eggs. Recently more than 100,000 turtles were returned to the sea as part of the campaign to bring back young green turtles in the Ras Al Jinz and Ras Al Hadd turtle reserve.The campaign which  is held annually during the hatching period extends from September till December, is being implemented by the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve in cooperation with the Environment Authority and local residents.

This is to protect the marine environment, preserve its natural resources, protect young turtles and return them to the sea. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is popular among tourists and a large number of turtles nest on the beach of the reserve. The green turtles come from the coasts of the Sultanate and neighbouring countries such as the coast of the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, in addition to the closest shores of Somalia.

According to Oman’s Ministry of Tourism. “Ras Al Jinz is a nature reserve famous for the opportunity to witness the endangered green sea turtle in its natural habitat during nesting and hatching season. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is a unique natural landscape, unspoiled shorelines, golden deserts, luxuriant green oases and rugged mountains.

“Ras Al Jinz is world renowned for the nesting of the endangered green turtle, probably the most important nesting concentration on the Indian Ocean,” added the Ministry. “This is the only place where the public can watch the nesting process of these amazing sea-giants — a once in a lifetime opportunity!"