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The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) has  signed an agreement with Oman India Fertiliser Company (Omifco) to fund a project in Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve.

It will include construction of a protection wall to guide baby turtles to sea, observation platforms for a safe turtle-watching experience and a walkway to the beach for visitors of the reserved area.

This support comes as part of Omifco’s social responsibility initiatives to preserve the environment. Previously, Omifco has supported the development of two coral reef farms in Sur, increasing green cover and planting trees along the main roads in the wilayat.

The project aims to protect small turtles and protect wildlife in the reserve. A team of specialists from the ministry, Sultan Qaboos University, Nizwa University and the Scientific Centre of Omran has been formed to design the most suitable environmental design for the protected area.

The wall will prevent baby turtles from going in the opposite direction of the sea. The wall will be designed with curves that will allow young turtles to return to the sea easily.

There will be platforms from where visitors can watch turtles without disturbing them. The design will be suitable for people with special needs too. The wall will be built using local stones.

MECA has launched campaigns to release 243,746 turtle hatchlings into the sea in the last five years. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Mohammed bin Amer al Hajri, director general for Environmental Affairs in South Sharqiyah, said, “MECA has launched the campaign to release turtle hatchlings into the sea in the period from October 1 to December.”

The campaign is an annual event, Hajri said, adding that the first one was conducted in 2013. October to January is the period when turtle eggs hatch. “In 2013, we released 64,095 turtles into the sea, 59,183 in 2014 and 60,468 in 2017 and more than 60,000 turtles in 2018,” Hajri added.

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