Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, where the turtles were released, is home to a diverse ecosystem of protected marine and wildlife
The Environment Authority of Abu Dhabi (EAD), in partnership with the National Aquarium (TNA), has released 81 sea turtles into their natural habitat.
Since launching the Wildlife Rescue Program in August 2020, an initiative developed in partnership with TNA, 800 sea turtles have been rescued and 500 released, the agency announced. Since August last year, a total of 178 sea turtles have been rescued and 81 sea turtles have been released, and the number continues to increase.
A team of scientists from EAD and TNA rescued stranded sea turtles by first checking their health and then investigating how the sea turtles became stranded. Based on the health diagnosis of the turtles, a rehabilitation program will be initiated until they are fully recovered. Once seawater temperatures are warm enough, they are released back into the wild.
Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is located within the Saadiyat Marine National Park where sea turtles are released, home to a diverse ecosystem of protected marine animals and wildlife.
In honor of World Turtle Day at Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas, Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Community Development Department, and Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD Board Member, Secretary General, Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, released the animals turtle. EAD, Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director, Department of Tourism, Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Undersecretary, Department of Biodiversity and Marine Life, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and Manuel Rabate, Director of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Than and community members.
Dr Al Dhaheri said the aim of the Wildlife Rescue Program is to ensure that Abu Dhabi’s waters are rich in species so that future generations can learn about and enjoy nature.
“We released rehabilitated turtles, some with satellite tracking devices on their backs to monitor their movement and swimming patterns, as well as their migration paths. This helps our scientific experts learn more about them.”
TNA general manager Paul Hamilton noted that the program is one of the largest sea turtle rehabilitation programs in the world.
“By 2023, the Wildlife Rescue program has grown further with the addition of the Louvre Turtle Sanctuary, increasing our capacity to care for sea turtles weighing up to 100kg. The Wildlife Rescue ambulance will also be launched in 2023, providing support for those at the scene of the rescue. Immediate first aid for endangered marine life.”
The agency has been researching, monitoring and protecting sea turtles in Abu Dhabi since 1999 and has successfully maintained a stable population in Abu Dhabi territorial waters. The emirate is home to two of the seven sea turtle species found on Earth – both of which are threatened – the critically endangered hawksbill turtle and the endangered giant green turtle.
Al Dhaheri added: “The waters of Abu Dhabi are home to more than 5,500 sea turtles, including green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles, and we hope that number will increase. That’s why we are always eager to put them back in the water rather than release them. in the aquarium.”