Dubai Crown Prince attends Jumeirah Group’s Turtle Rehabilitation Project
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum helped release rehabilitated turtles into the sea
Jumeirah Group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project celebrated World Sea-Turtle Day, releasing 45 rehabilitated Hawksbill turtles back into the sea.
The event was attended by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who helped release the animals.
Each of the 45 turtles had spent months being treated for various ailments including cold-stunning during winter, plastic-ingestion and injuries that needed surgery.
Jumeirah's rehabilitation of the turtles is part of the three-year National Plan of Action for the Conservation of Marine Turtles in the UAE, fully supported by the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. Launched by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the plan aims at expediting laws to protect turtles.
''The rehabilitation process starts with critical care at the facilities at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah," said Gerhard Beukesthan, Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project director of aquarium operations and animal husbandry. "[It then] progresses to the state-of-the-art, sea-fed turtle rehabilitation lagoon, where the turtles acclimate to ambient conditions, and build up fitness levels prior to release back into the wild."
"Amongst the turtles released was a hatchling that washed up on World Sea-Turtle Day last year, weighing only 11 grams. She has since come on leaps and bounds, increasing her weight tenfold, which now gives her a much better chance of survival."
Since its inception 16 years ago, the team has returned more than 1,900 turtles to the Arabian Gulf.