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Sharjah aquarium releases 8 endangered turtles back to their natural habitat in celebration of World Turtle Day

By 24.5.2023         Mail Now Send Mail   Post Comments
Sharjah [UAE], May 23: Sharjah Aquarium, operating under the Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA), has marked World Turtle Day with a special initiative, during which it has released eight medium to large green and hawksbill turtles into the sea off Al Hamriyah beach in Sharjah.

Green turtles, colloquially referred to as "Sherry," have a maximum length of 120 cm and are recognised as an endangered species. Despite their ability to live for 70 years or more, these turtles face numerous threats to their survival. Their name originates from the green hue of their bodies.

Similarly, hawksbill turtles, known locally as "Ahmsa," are also classified as endangered. These turtles, characterised by their distinctive beak-like mouth, can grow up to 114 cm in length and live for approximately 50 years.

The released turtles that range from 5 to 30 years old, have undergone rehabilitation after being found in poor condition, as part of a dedicated programme that rehabilitate sick or injured turtles found by the public and local fishermen.

The programme provides thorough health assessments and necessary care to the vulnerable marine creatures, ensuring their full recovery before releasing them back into their natural habitats.

The release, which is in cooperation with Al Hamriyah Municipality, serves as a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the crucial role these creatures play in UAE''s marine ecosystems and to encourage the public to take part in protecting the UAE''s marine biodiversity. It also highlights Sharjah Aquarium''s dedication to raising awareness about the marine environment and the diverse marine species found along UAE''s coasts as well as its determination to promote conservation efforts.

The turtle release is part of SMA''s long-running Social Responsibility Initiative, "Because We Care," which was first launched in 2009 and has since successfully aided and released 30 turtles back into their natural habitats.

Present during the release were Saeed Obaid Bouvier Al Shamsi, Director of the Emiri Diwan in Al Hamriyah; Khalid Ali Thani Al Shamsi, Secretary of the Emiri Diwan in Al Hamriyah; Saif Obaid Bouvier Al Shamsi Chairman of Al Hamriyah Council; Rashid Al Shamsi, Curator of Sharjah Aquarium; and Saif Khalifa bin Samha Al Shamsi, President of Al Hamriyah Cooperative Society for Fishermen, and number of officials from various Sharjah government departments.

Individuals involved in the marine ecosystem including the Emirati researcher in marine culture and heritage Juma bin Thalith Al Humairi, as well as media professionals, have also attended the releasing.

The annual observance of World Turtles Day on May 23rd began in 2000, following a high-profile rescue operation for a large American tortoise that spotlighted the species'' scarcity.

The event aims to raise awareness about the threats facing turtles, support conservation efforts for endangered species, and foster community engagement.

Each year, the authority organises various programmes, events, and initiatives that align with its objectives and aspirations in promoting turtle conservation and awareness.


TAGS: turtle,   World Turtle Day,   World Turtle Day May 23,   Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA),  

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