Tonnes of waste cleared from Masirah Island

Muscat: Working to ensure that Oman’s natural heritage remains intact for future generations to enjoy, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) with sponsorship from Renaissance Services and the US Marine Turtle Conservation Fund organized a beach clean-up on Masirah Island.

Over 190 tonnes of waste mainly consisting of old fishing gear and nets, ropes and fishing lines were removed in a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth, Masirah Municipality, National Ferries Company, Ecovision, Be’ah and volunteers.

“Together with our partners, ESO is committed to promoting a healthy environment for the Sultanate’s wildlife to thrive. Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear are globally known to be a major threat to marine species such as whales, dolphins and sea turtles, and through this program we are attempting to work with the local fishermen to provide avenues for proper disposal of fishing gear, as well as cleaning up the sea turtle nesting beaches ahead of the nesting season” said Antonia Vegh, Events and Volunteer Coordinator at Environment Society of Oman.

“Turtles, which are the most affected, are known to nest on these beaches. We have been managing turtle conservation projects on Masirah Island for over a decade, and this clean-up is just one way for us to address the various threats that they face.”

ESO is very grateful to the volunteers who committed their time and energy to help with this net clean-up including Anastassiya Chulskaya, Assad Al Aamri, Juma Al Farsi, Al Amin, Iqbal Hossain, Shareef Miah, and Mohamed Hanif.

The seas of the Sultanate of Oman occupy an isolated corner of the Indian Ocean, where some of the world’s most varied and biologically productive waters are found. From Ash-Sharqiya’s rocky coastline famous for turtle nesting to Al Wusta where the seas attract vast swarms of fish, ESO is eager to increase hands-on projects that not only achieve their environmental protection goals but also help raise public awareness and the need for conservation.

“A bridge between our world and the ocean, the cleanliness of our beaches is incredibly important. It is essential that as leaders within our community we share our knowledge with our communities and do our part to ensure that we stop polluting,” said Hussain Mohammed Al Lawati, Chief Commercial Officer at Renaissance Services.

“One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that often when rubbish is left on the beach it will get swept up by the rising tide. This of course has a multiplier effect when it gets dragged into the sea and impacts marine life directly.

Since its inception in 2004, the Environment Society of Oman has continued to work to promote environmental conservation and awareness throughout the Sultanate. It has maintained a dedication to supporting Oman’s rich marine biodiversity. In addition to beach and underwater clean-up campaigns, the society has launched a number of highly important initiatives to protect Oman’s loggerhead turtle population, including the Marine Turtle Research and Conservation project, which is now in its tenth year.

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