Altogether, 30 sea turtles were released back into their natural habitat under Jumeirah Group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project to mark World Sea-Turtle Day Wednesday (June 16).
The animals had been cleared for release following an extensive recovery period, accompanied by regular check-ups, monitoring of progress and medical care where necessary.
The Hawksbill, Green, and Loggerhead turtles were released from Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai.
So far, almost 2,000 turtles have been returned safely to the Arabian Sea, with annual rescue figures averaging over 100 turtles. Of the species tended to in the facility, the Hawksbill and Green turtles are the most predominant, while Loggerhead and Olive Ridley turtles are also occasionally brought in.
The turtles released this year by the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project were each given extensive care through a comprehensive programme of veterinary examinations, administration of medication, surgical care where needed and consistent monitoring.
Their injuries and cause for rehabilitation are due to cold-stunning during winter (a life-threatening reaction experienced by turtles when exposed to cold water for prolonged periods), plastic ingestion or injuries requiring surgery. Once all treatments have been completed, the team then relocate the animals to the Turtle Lagoon at Jumeirah Al Naseem, to ensure their sustained positive progress, as part of the final stage of their rehabilitation.
“Our efforts in this space are extremely important and in-line with the mandate of the National Plan of Action for the Conservation of Marine Turtles in the UAE. Through our work with these majestic animals, we remain in complete support of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s initiatives to further protect these creatures that are essential to the local natural ecosystem.
“The Hawksbills in particular play an irreplaceable role within the wider coral reef health. It is imperative that we continue to rehabilitate and protect these turtles, especially as they are faced with increasing threats to their nests, juveniles, and adults, causing rapidly declining numbers,” said Barbara Lang-Lenton Arrizabalaga, Director of Aquarium at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.