Posted on April 05, 2019

The Ministry of Municipalities and Environment announced the closure of Fuwairit Beach from April 1, 2019 till August 1, 2019, for the protection of endangered sea turtles during the nesting season.

This comes within the framework of the efforts of the ministry to preserve wildlife, in accordance with Ministerial Resolution No. (37) of 2010 on the conservation of turtles and seabirds from extinction. The Ministry appealed to citizens and residents who visit the beaches and northern islands (Fuwairit, Al Ghariyah, Al Huwailah, Al Mafjar, Umm Tiss Island, Rukan and Shrao’s Island) not to approach the turtle nesting areas, not to direct light at them and not to make any disturbing sounds nearby. The Ministry urged everyone to immediately report any violations committed by people against the turtles on 998.

The turtle season of 2018 has set an unprecedented record in the number of young turtles - 5,010 - launched into the sea. Wildlife and Protection Department has selected a team of highly qualified environmental inspectors and observers, under the direct supervision of Omar Salem Al Nuaimi, Director of Wildlife and Protection Department at the Ministry, to carry out field work and supervise the project site. A training workshop and field training for the team were conducted by experts and specialists.

Various stages of turtle nesting season at Fuwairit Beach

  • Qatar is the home to three species of sea turtles, the most important of which is the hawksbill, which is of great importance to the region for ecological reasons.
  • The ministry team collects various data on turtle nesting season, including date, time and distance between the nest and the edge of the water.
  • Eggs are moved from the tidal zone to a safer place, in the same order as the eggs are found in the nest into a new nest in order to avoid nest flooding.
  • Team members will then mark the nest locations with the nest symbol, number of eggs and the likely date of egg hatching.
  • Team members intercept female turtle when returning to the sea after nesting and they log different measurements such as weight, height length and width of the arms.
  • Team members put marks on all turtles found in nests in order to identify them. Satellite tracking devices are attached to some turtles.
  • Turtle eggs hatch after incubation period of 50 to 60 days and young turtles then move towards the sea.
  • The new batch of hawksbill remains in the waters of Qatar until it feeds and grows for 20 days.

source: The Peninsula