Rescued turtles released into the wild

As part of the Year of Sustainable Development, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) in partnership with The National Aquarium (TNA) and Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue Centre (YSWRRC) released loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles that were rehabilitated in their natural habitat on Jumeirah Saadiyat Island beach.

The National Aquarium rehabilitated 200 individuals and YSWRRRC rehabilitated a group of 14 hawksbill turtles. The first batch of animals were released on June 6 and the second on June 8 in the presence of officials from EAD and Yas Sea Centre, as well as marine experts.

The release of the turtles was the culmination of a rescue and rehabilitation programme undertaken by EAD in collaboration with the National Aquarium since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2020, under which a total of 1,067 turtles have been rescued. EAD also signed a MoU with YSWRRC in 2023, resulting in the rescue of a group of 23 turtles.

EAD has been researching, monitoring and protecting sea turtles in Abu Dhabi since 1999, and has been successful in maintaining a stable population of these animals in the capital’s waters. Abu Dhabi is home to four main species of sea turtles: green and hawksbill turtles are often found in the emirate’s waters, while the olive ridley and loggerhead are occasional visitors.

Dr Shaikha Salem Al Daheri, secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Environmental Protection Agency, said: “I would like to thank the public and volunteers who helped us save these vulnerable species, and of course our experts who were able to rehabilitate the turtles before releasing them into the natural environment. We appreciate the dedication of every member of the team in providing the turtles with the best possible care.”

Fouad Mashal, President and Vice Chairman of Al Barakah Holding, said: “Today is a very special day for the National Aquarium – we are returning turtle number 1000 back to the wild. This milestone marks the incredible efforts of the National Aquarium team who have rescued, rehabilitated and released such a huge number of animals, making this one of the most successful projects in the world…. The people responsible for saving the 1,000th turtle were delighted to attend this symbolic farewell.”

Source: Gulf News

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