Environment Authority organizes Workshop on Conservation of Sea Turtles

Muscat, A workshop on implementing the national action plan for the protection and conservation of marine turtles kicked off here today. The two-day workshop is organized by the Environment Authority in cooperation with government and international organizations concerned.

The workshop assesses the current situation and the opportunities and challenges posed to the plan, as well as its priorities and mechanisms of its implementation. The project studies a variety of ways to protect the beaches that constitute nesting habitats for marine turtles, increasing their numbers and harbouring their fledgling young.

Dr. Abdullah Ali Al Amri, Chairman of the Environment Authority, told Oman News Agency (ONA) that directives were issued to specialists at the Directorate General of Environment Conservation, Environment Authority, to devise a 5-year national plan for turtle conservation, to be applicable with effect from 2023. He pointed out that Oman is considered one of two most important nesting sites for turtles worldwide.

Meanwhile, Eng. Suleiman Nasser Al Akhzami, Director General of Nature Conservation at the Environment Authority, said in a speech at the opening of the workshop that the Authority exerted tangible efforts for the protection of marine turtles. It enacted laws and legislations that minimize the impact of human activity on the species, he added.

Speaking in a visual presentation, Earl Possardt, an international advisor on marine turtles, stressed the need for more international efforts to protect marine turtles against all hazards facing them.

The workshop included a display on the tasks undertaken by the Environment Authority to protect marine turtles. It also presented a real-life experience and outlined the “Turtle Commandos Initiative” launched by the Environment Authority.

Specialized firms also presented working papers on urban and tourism planning and the impact of artificial lighting and fishing activities on marine turtles.

The concluding session of the first day of the workshop, included a review on a draft copy of the national plan for protection and conservation of marine turtles, as well as discussions on different aspects of the topic.

The opening ceremony was held under the auspices of Eng. Yaqoub Khalfan Al Busaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources for Fisheries.

Source: Oman News Agency