Photographs by Warren Baverstock.
Forty endangered sea turtles are back in the waters after being released by the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) to mark World Sea Turtle Day.
The project released the turtles into Gulf waters near Jumeirah Al Naseem in collaboration with Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in The Dubai Mall which nursed five of the turtles back to health at their facility.
In support of the project and research, Dubai Mall Aquarium purchased five satellite tags for the turtles to enable the team to track their progress in the wild as part of global sea turtle day celebrations on June 16.
In a statement on Tuesday, Warren Baverstock, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s Aquarium operations manager, said: “After a monthlong rehabilitation period, the turtles were returned to the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah aquarium, fitted with a satellite tag and then released back into the Arabian Gulf. Their movements can now be monitored and followed on Facebook.”
All sea turtles displayed were rescued by the DTRP based at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah. The project is run in conjunction with the Wildlife Protection Office and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East and Red Sea region. Essential veterinary services are provided by Dubai Falcon Clinic and Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.
The aim of the exhibition is to educate visitors about turtles, their habitats and global conservation efforts in the fight against extinction. The day-to-day running of the DTRP and animal husbandry are managed by Burj Al Arab’s dedicated aquarium team.
A rare olive ridley sea turtle called Barnacle recently checked out of Jumeirah Al Naseem’s turtle rehabilitation lagoon with more than 70 critically endangered hawksbill turtles who headed back home into the waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Children from the Dubai British School purchased a special satellite tag for Barnacle which will enable them to track her progress online. The kids were invited to the release to learn more about the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) and wave the turtles off from the beach by Jumeirah Al Naseem.
More than 1,300 sea turtles have been successfully returned to the sea over the past ten years since the project’s inception.