The initiative was launched to raise awareness about the danger that fishermen’s nets can trigger to the island’s endangered sea creatures. Various activities had been organised such as awareness presentations for fishermen, schoolchildren, Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) and Omani Women’s Association, football matches with turtle-themed names, and a single municipal beach clean-up with the participation of members of the neighborhood.
Thousands of turtles nest on Masirah Island each year, and it represents a single of the highest densities of nesting loggerhead turtles in the globe. However, nesting habitats of this population are becoming compromised due to human activities such as bycatch in fishing gear, entanglement in abandoned and lost fishing gear at sea, boat strikes, disturbance on beaches from beach driving, and disorientation due to light pollution.
In February 2019, 3 skip bins had been installed on 3 beaches utilized as fish landing web sites to encourage fishermen to dispose off their nets in them rather than in the open ocean. The bins had been accompanied with indicators written in 5 of the most typical spoken languages by the fishing neighborhood in Masirah.
This initiative was performed in coordination with Be’ah, Ecovision, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) and Masirah Municipality.
Dr Hamed al Gheilani, neighborhood outreach manager at ESO, stated, “For years, people have lived in harmony with sea turtles, however, today, they are threatened by a number of issues which caused them to become endangered including unsustainable fishing practices, marine pollution, lighting pollution. Climate change has also an underlying impact which is poorly understood to date.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily