Improve conservation of sea turtles in coastal regions of Oman.
Did you know that thousands of sea turtles migrate annually from the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and Somalia to lay their eggs on the Oman’s shores? Between July and October 20,000 turtles or more lay an estimated 50,000-60,000 eggs each year in the Oman shoreline.
Oman has five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles: The Green Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle and the Leatherback Turtle which is found in Omani waters but does not nest on the beach.
At night carrying their heavy shells on their backs these turtles drag themselves out of the water to the beach. Strenuously and with great difficulty, they dig a hole in the sand using the tips of their paws so as to bury their eggs and then return to the sea. After about 55 days, the eggs hatch and baby turtles come out to start the most dangerous journey of their lives, trying to avoid hungry foxes, crabs and birds and pushing their way towards the sea where they can find safety in the waters.
The supply chain of the worlds largest oil and gas providers runs through the waters were the sea turtles discover their first „safe“ paddles in water. We from navama analysed together with WWF Oman the collision risks of sea turtles with oil tankers and other vessels for a better management of marine protected areas.
3 turtles equipped with GPS devices sending their positions to satellites were analysed against oil and other vessel traffic based on satellite AIS data in the Indian Ocean and in the coastal waters of Oman and Katar. The research results underlined the requirements for more marine protected areas with less vessel traffic and gave WWF more facts for their negotiations with local decision makers.
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