Sea turtle conservation
With a long sea-faring history, sea turtles have long been recognized as an important part of Arabian culture and as such they are heavily protected by laws in the region as declines in populations have been recorded by scientists.
As technology around the globe has advanced and populations have grown, exploitation of the seas resources and utilisation of the seas by ocean going vessels has increased. This has adversely affected global sea turtle populations. The main causes for the decline in population of sea turtles are: the tortoiseshell trade, Asian meat trade, egg collection, destruction of foraging and nesting habitats and oil pollution. Turtle populations are declining rapidly all over the world, therefore, the main goal of the rehabilitation project is to return sick animals to full health and release them back into their environment.
The project impacts the national, regional and international sea turtle populations by increasing the number of animals in the environment that would have otherwise perished. It is said that only one out of 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings will reach sexual maturity and so by saving these animals and releasing them back into the wild we are in effect increasing the chances of the number of turtles that could possibly reaching breeding age. From our tagging initiative we have seen that turtles can undertake massive journeys and have recorded one of our turtles travelling an amazing 8,600 kilometres in nine months. This shows that our project not only affects these populations on a regional and national level but also on an international level.
Local, regional, international and social media allow people from all across the globe to get an insight into our achievements and research. This in turn has encouraged a global interest and awareness of the plight of the sea turtle in the region.
Educational Experiences for you and your classmates
In the winter months (November thru March) the DTRP offer an educational experience for UAE based school groups, if you are interested in participating or would like more information about the visits please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Satellite Tracking Page
Concept, Benefits and Research Information
It is one of the project’s goals to release as many of our turtles as economically possible with satellite transmitters. To date, four turtles have been fitted with satellite transmitters to enable us to track their journey. All the transmitters were sponsored by Jumeirah Group and more tagging is planned.
One of the turtles that was tagged and released on 14 February 2008 named ‘Dibba’, due to the location where she was found, made the second longest tracked recording of a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas). She travelled an amazing 8,600 kilometres and was the first example of a marine turtle migrating from the Middle East to South East Asia where her last location was recorded off the coast of Thailand. Unfortunately transmissions are governed by the battery life of the transmitter and Dibba stopped transmitting on 01 November 2008.
Further tracking is important for us to build a picture of where the turtles that are found in the waters of the Emirates, travel to reach their feeding, breeding and nesting grounds as without protection of all of these sites, the turtle population will surely decline further. All of the transmitter data is publicly available via www.seaturtle.org which provides a powerful educational tool, made free by the project to all interested.