Doha: Cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and Maersk Oil Research & Technology Centre (MO-RTC) has yielded in saving two of the endangered green sea turtles on the norther shores of the country.
Fawaz Al Suwaidi, Director, the Department of Wildlife at the ministry, said inspectors from the Department of Environmental Protection recently found the turtles in Ruwais. Both had low body temperature turtles usually experience due to cooler waters during the winter.
He said the turtles were receiving treatment and rehabilitation services and stressed the need to establish a facility to offer advanced care for turtles.
Nayla Al Beiruti, Director of Environmental Research at the minister’s office, also responsible for the medical treatment of the turtles, said X-rays did not show any foreign objects in the bellies of the turtles and or any signs of external injuries such as from speedboat collision, for example.
MO-RTC has initiated cooperation with the ministry to provide support to save the turtles after a similar experience in 2013 when a green sea turtle dubbed ‘Pearl Qatar’ was released in the sea after treatment.
Abdul Rahman Al Emadi, Director, MO-RTC said, “the centre has signed a MoU with the ministry to conduct research on marine biodiversity. We are pleased with our ability to support the ministry, as we have done so through Project Whale Shark Qatar.”
In March 2012, the ministry and MO-RTC signed a MoU for a scientific research project to explore and document the diversity and abundance of marine species in Qatari waters, in particular those in the vicinity of Al Shaheen field.
The Whale Shark Research Project, which started in 2010, focuses on the Rhincodon typus species.
In late May 2012, a team of Qatari and international researchers travelled offshore on a 12-day research expedition, accompanied by a world-class underwater camera team to understand why so many whale sharks come to Al Shaheen and to learn more about the elusive species.