A group of endangered turtles was released into the ocean yesterday after being rehabilitated by marine biologists at Sharjah Aquarium.
The five adult and juvenile hawksbill turtles were reintroduced into the wild at the Natural Reserve at Al Hamriya Beach in Sharjah.
The event was held to coincide with World Turtle Day and is part of Sharjah Museum Department’s Because We Care social responsibility initiative.
Manal Ataya, Director General of SMD, called to educate the public about
The need to act as custodians of our ocean.
The hawksbill is one of the smaller sea turtles, and is named for its narrow head and hawk-like beak.
Despite international conventions prohibiting the hunting and trading of sea turtles, hawksbills have suffered a
Their existence is threatened by coastal development, climate change, egg harvesting at nesting beaches, pollution, and through being caught accidentally in fisheries. Many sustain injuries to their fins caused by fishing boat propellers.
The turtles released today were originally spotted by members of the public, who noticed they were suffering from critical injuries and took them to Sharjah Aquarium. The Aquarium has been running a rehabilitation programme for the past six years to rescue and care for sick and injured hawksbill and green turtles, and release them back into the wild.
World Turtle Day is held on May 23 each year. It was started in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue (www.tortoise.com). Its objective is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.
This release is one of numerous initiatives held under SMD’s “Because we Care” initiative. These include beach clean ups and efforts to provide museum learning experiences to children with disabilities, among many others.
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