Sea turtles are likely to get stranded during the winter months, and residents who may spot them on beaches in the UAE Capital can help by contacting the Abu Dhabi Government Call Centre.
The Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD) said in a statement that during the cold season, sea turtles are prone to barnacles that can hinder their movement.
“Marine turtles suffer temperature shock during the winter months, which causes them to become docile. Barnacles often stick to the turtles during this time, thus restricting their movements," the EAD said.
The agency has urged the public to refrain from removing barnacles — a group of crustaceans — from the turtles.
“If you may spot a stranded sea turtle on the beach, kindly follow the precautions and contact Abu Dhabi Government Call Centre on 800 555,” the EAD added.
Running a rehabilitation project, the agency has so far rescued hundreds of turtles in partnership with The National Aquarium, Abu Dhabi.
Since 1999, the agency has been researching, monitoring and protecting turtles in Abu Dhabi and has succeeded in maintaining a stable population in territorial waters across the emirate. Studies have shown an improvement in the number of turtles and their stability in the emirate. Abu Dhabi’s waters are home to more than 5,000 sea turtles, from both the Green and Hawksbill species.
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