Dubai, 16 June 2016: 100 rehabilitated turtles were today released back into the Arabian Gulf from the beach in front of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, as Jumeirah Group celebrated World Sea Turtle Day. The release of the turtles, who had been rehabilitated at facilities within Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah as part of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP), brings the total number of turtles returned to the wild since the project began in 2004 to 1,090.
The release was attended by hotel guests and children from the Dubai British School. A total of 96 critically endangered juvenile hawksbills, one juvenile loggerhead, two juvenile greens and one large adult loggerhead were released.
Six turtles were fitted with small satellite tags including: Beau, an adult male loggerhead; Cousteau, a juvenile loggerhead; Alpha and Angelo, both juvenile greens; Ali and Pawee, both juvenile hawksbills. Beau was named by the children from the Dubai British School and Beau’s tag was sponsored by Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The remaining tags were sponsored by the Dubai Mall Aquarium as part of an ongoing turtle conservation collaboration agreement.
Warren Baverstock, Burj Al Arab’s Aquarium Operations Manager, said: “We are extremely proud to celebrate World Sea Turtle Day by releasing 100 rehabilitated sea turtles back into their environment. We are especially gratefully to the local community and the organisations who found many of the injured turtles and brought them to us for rehabilitation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that juvenile loggerheads and greens have been tagged in the region which will provide valuable data about their progress in the wild.”
The turtles were all rescued from the shores of the UAE and nursed back to health by the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, one of the longest standing Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in the region and the only project of its kind in the Middle East. The project accepts any distressed turtle, with the most common turtles found in the Arabian Gulf being the critically endangered hawksbill and the endangered green sea turtle. The majority of rescued turtles are juvenile hawksbills, which are found washed up on the Gulf coastline during the winter months of December, January and February suffering from the adverse effects of cold sea temperatures. Other common aliments include ingesting plastic rubbish and injuries sustained from boats.
Once the turtles have been rescued, they are assessed before beginning the rehabilitation process which can take upto a year. Prior to release, they are transferred to the large outdoor enclosure at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam which allows the team to monitor the final stages of rehabilitation before the turtles are released back into UAE territorial waters. A new outdoor enclosure is being built at Jumeirah Al Naseem which opens later this year and it will be the first hotel in the world to feature a sea fed and custom-designed turtle lagoon for rehabilitating critically endangered sea turtles.
The DTRP is at the forefront of sea turtle rehabilitation protocols and veterinary procedures. Based at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah, the DTRP is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Hospital and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory. The day-to-day running of the project and the animal husbandry is managed by Burj Al Arab’s dedicated aquarium team.
The satellite tagging initiative will allow the DTRP to develop a picture of the turtles’ journeys through the region. Interested parties can check for updates on the Dubai Aquarium and the DTRP Facebook pages.
Notes to Editors:
The project’s tagging initiative once tracked a turtle that travelled an amazing 8600km in nine months almost reaching the coast of Thailand. This shows the project not only affects these populations on a regional and national level but also on an international level. The tags also allow the team to compare habitat, temperature choice and migration patterns for each species, information which is crucial for the formulation of conservation plans. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the hawksbill turtle has seen an 87% decline in population over the last three decades with only an estimated 8,000 nesting females left in the world.
About DTRP: 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. Only one out of 1000 sea turtle hatchlings will reach sexual maturity. By saving these animals and releasing them back into the wild we are increasing the chances of the number of turtles that could possibly reaching breeding age. The DTRP is based at Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah and is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Hospital and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory. http://www.jumeirah.com/turtles
About Jumeirah Group:
Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, operates a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts including the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts manages properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kuwait in the Middle East; Baku, Bodrum, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Mallorca (Spain) in Europe; the Maldives and Shanghai in Asia. Jumeirah Group also runs the luxury serviced residences brand Jumeirah LivingTM with properties in London and Dubai; the new contemporary lifestyle hotel brand VenuTM; the wellness brand TaliseTM; Jumeirah Restaurant Group DubaiTM; Wild Wadi WaterparkTM; The Emirates Academy of Hospitality ManagementTM; and SiriusTM, its global loyalty programme. Future openings include luxury and lifestyle hotels in China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritius, Oman, Russia and the UAE. www.jumeirah.com
For further information please contact:
Jumeirah Group Corporate Communications
Director of External Communications
PO Box 73137, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Visit us at: www.jumeirah.com