Fujairah, UAE: On World Turtle Day 2023, Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort has recently witnessed sea turtles laying eggs on its beach, with the support of Fujairah Environment Authority (FEA), Fujairah Research Centre (FRC) and Jumeirah Group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP).
To help aid the situation. Dr. Juan Diego Urriago, Marine Consultant, and Fujairah Marine Ranger Abdullah Bakhsh were dispatched to manage the situation and protect the nest from disturbances and predators. Out of the seven surviving species of sea turtles, the UAE is home to five, with hawksbill turtles being the only species known to nest on the west coast annually. However, there have been only three verified records of nests along the entire east coast, with none in Fujairah.
The following day, Barbara Lang-Lenton, Director of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) at Jumeirah Group, visited the site to personally assess the situation. Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort team have been actively engaged in protecting the nest and ensuring successful hatching within the next 50 to 60 days. The confirmation of the species will be determined once the baby turtles hatch.
This event underscores the urgent need to establish additional conservation measures to protect and promote sea turtle nesting along the coast. The public is strongly encouraged to report any sightings of sea turtles nesting or incidents involving sea turtles along the UAE coast. The timely phone call from the hotel staff serves as a testament to the effectiveness of the awareness program initiated along the coast of Fujairah in 2022, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FRC-FEA and DTRP.
DTRP Ambassador Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan bin Khalid Al Qasimi expressed his jubilation, stating, “The news of a turtle nest on the beaches of the Emirate of Fujairah is a cause for celebration. Thanks to the wise leadership of our country, the UAE is committed to protecting the environment, especially our oceans. I extend my sincerest congratulations and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and Ruler of Fujairah, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, for their leadership in ocean conservation. We have a responsibility to our nation to contribute towards maintaining clean beaches, protecting our oceans, and preserving the marine life that calls them home.”
H.E. Aseela Al Moalla, Director of the Fujairah Environment Authority, expressed overwhelming joy upon receiving the news and reaffirmed the commitment of the environmental authority to implementing the visionary initiatives set forth by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah. She also extended her gratitude to the Fujairah Research Centre Marine Department and the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project team for their unwavering support in conserving the ecosystem of Fujairah.
Dr. Fouad Lamghari, Director of the Fujairah Research Centre, highlighted the importance of the partnership between governmental authorities, research organizations, private entities and citizens for the long-term conservation and sustainability of the Emirate’s coasts, in alignment with the UAE’s environmental vision 2030.
The 800TURTLE (800 887853) hotline, DTRP’s dedicated toll-free number for members of the public to call in the event they encounter a distressed, sick or injured sea turtle, is also used in Fujairah. Callers will be directed to the Fujairah Research Centre to ensure aid is provided in an appropriate and timely manner.