The new turtle nesting season in Masirah Island has been inaugurated with a campaign to make the public, notably the young generation, aware of the need to protect these sea creatures. Masirah is considered to be the largest nesting area for Loggerhead turtles in the world.
The Environment Society of Oman (ESO), which is spearheading the initiative that coincides with this year’s World Earth Day celebrations, said the primary objective was to encourage the youth “to discover their environment and think critically, so they can make better choices and positively change their environmental behaviour.”
More than 300 school boys and girls joined hands with students from the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) to launch the effort in three schools on the island. The participants were also given a chance to witness a “sea turtle tagging process’” where ESO’s marine team showcased the whole procedure and explained it step by step.
The SQU students also had an opportunity to take part in an open discussion on the sea turtle’s life cycle and understand the importance of the tagging process for marine research.
Also as part of the activities, a football league was organised with six teams playing — each team was named after a species of turtle. The final match was between the Loggerhead team and the Green Turtle team; the former won the game.
Meanwhile, ESO partnered with the Omani Women’s Association (OWA) in Masirah to carry out a clean-up drive. The 16 women who took part collected some 100kgs of waste in one hour.
ESO board member Nasser Al Maskari headed a team from the society to meet and hold discussions with the Deputy Wali of Masirah Island on issues related to turtle protection.