Seventeen sea turtles return to water in Abu Dhabi after rehabilitation

Many turtles are washed ashore in the emirate with injuries caused by plastic pollution

A batch of sea turtles rescued from beaches that surround the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi has been released back into the wild.

The 17 marine reptiles entered the water in Al Dhafra after being rescued and rehabilitated by environmental volunteers from Nawah Energy Company.

Teams from Nawah regularly conduct checks of the beaches that surround the nuclear plant, as many turtles tend to be washed ashore with injuries caused by environmental hazards such as plastic pollution.

The release was a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi environment agency.

Since June this year, the agency has taken part in three turtle release programmes.

The first event involved the release of 150 creatures, and in the second a large group of previously rescued turtles were released at the beach of the Saadiyat Rotana hotel in celebration of World Sea Turtle Day.

During one of the earlier releases, one of the turtles, affectionately named Al Hudayriat, was fitted with a satellite tracking device so marine specialists could monitor its feeding and nesting habits.

The Agency plans on releasing more than 150 turtles in the coming months, with some tagged with satellites to enable their migration patterns and behaviour to be monitored.

Ahmed Al Hashmi, from the environment agency’s terrestrial and marine biodiversity division, said several energy organisations have placed “environmental activities at the top of their agenda”.

Throughout the partnership, Nawah’s team had shown its “utmost devotion to the preservation of the environment”, he said.

“This has primarily been reflected in the great lengths they have gone to in rescuing distressed turtles, and joining us in releasing them back into the wild so they can thrive once again.”

Updated: August 1st 2021, 10:22 AM