Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sharjah Aquarium Released Rehabilitated Turtles

Yesterday on World Turtles Day, Sharjah Aquarium released five endangered native turtles back to their habitat. There can not be more opt celebration of World Turtles Day! These turtles were spotted and rescued by public on beach or in sea by fishermen in injured condition during last year and given to Sharjah Aquarium.

Sharjah Aquarium then with help of their in house marine biologist and Turtle Specialists rehabilitated these injured adult and juvenile four of Hawksbill Turtles and one Green Turtle. As part of their 'Because We Care' social responsibility initiative they are reaching out public and spreading awareness about marine turtles. On occasion of World Turtle Day these turtles were released back to their habitat at Al Hamriya Beach in Sharjah yesterday. Rashid Al Shamsi, Curator at Sharjah Museum informed the reason they selected the site, as there is a seawall built in sea near the beach. There are growing organism on bottom of this sea wall, which will provide food to these just turtles for the start.

Click to watch the video Interview with Rashid Al Shamsi, Curator at Sharjah Museum

The Sharjah Aquarium has been running a rehabilitation programme for past six years to rescue and care for sick and injured turtles and release them back into the wild. In future they are planning to tag these kind of rehabilitated turtles and track them. They are also working on collaborating with EWS-WWF to initiate more conservation programs.

Many delegates from government departments were present to witness and take part in turtle release. Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, Manal Ataya at the event said, 'Sharjah  Aquarium is playing vital role in educating public about the need to act as custodians of ocean'

Mariam Saeed Hareb, assistant under-secretory at The Water Resource and Nature Conservation Affairs Department in Ministry of Environment and Water was also present during the event. While having a small chat, she mentioned public can also share their innovative ideas with Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to help government to act against environmental issues and if the idea is implemented they can get awarded.

How Turtles Get Injuries?

Do you know, how the turtles are injured at the first place. Biggest reason of injury in turtles is hit by boat propeller, ingesting plastic bags and trapped in old style fishing nets.

Plastic pollution is a big threat for marine life. Specially Hawksbill turtle many times ingest plastic bags in sea as they appear like jelly fish to them. This is one important point, we need to note as this kind of threat is directly created by us. We can stop using plastic bags all together as there are many sustainable reusable bag options available to us.

Some fishermen are still using age old fishing nets, in which turtles are getting trapped. It's a need that fishermen should change to newer and safer tools.

Turtles can get seriously injured or even killed when they hit by boat propellers. Where ever possible propeller guards must be used to avoid these kind of accidents.

Watch this video of Turtle crawling back to their home! It was delightful to watch them getting vanished in sea to never return back may be!

At the end some interesting facts about these endangered native sea turtles!

Hawksbill turtles are smaller in size and are considered one of the most beautiful turtles for their colorful shells. The male hawksbill turtle or hachling once leave the land after hatching from eggs generally never return to land and spends it's lifetime in sea. Whereas Green turtle are one of the largest sea turtles. They are known as green turtles not because of color of their shell but the greenish color of their cartilage and fat. They can hold their breath under sea up to 5 hours as they are cold blooded.

Head to Green Living In Dubai's You Tube channel to watch more videos of yesterday's turtle release by clicking here.
Finally this is how we ended our World Turtles Day! 

'World Turtle Day' Must Wear!

Our little artist painted turtle and left his imprint! (He loves messy play) 


Anna Williams said...

This is the best thing which Sharjah Aquarium can do on World Turtles day. Sharjah Aquarium released five turtles, which were caught injured by some fishermen on beach. Sharjah Aquarium took care of them and released on World turtles day. Heads off to you "Sharjah Aquarium".

Amruta Kshemkalyani- Tavkar said...

True! Great thing is they are doing it since few years and was less known!