Capstone Title

Review of Sea Turtle Management Options in the Sultanate of Oman

Defense Date

1995

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Curtis Burney

Abstract

The Sultanate of Oman is located on the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula and has about 1700 km of coastline on the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf (Fig. 1).

Studies of marine turtles in Oman were conducted in 1977 and 1978 (Ross, 1977; 1978). Four species of sea turtles were found to nest in Oman: the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretochelys imbricata), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). A fifth species, the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) was found to occasionally encountered in coastal waters, but it is not known to nest in Oman (Ross and Barwani, 1979; Anon, 1987 ) .

Masirah Island (Fig.1, 2) has the largest loggerhead nesting population in the World. About 30, 000 females come to nest each year. The highest number of green turtles nesting in the Indian Ocean 1s found in Oman: about 20,000 female/year (Salm, 1991).

Sea turtles populations are in danger of extinction throughout the world. The increase in coastal development and human activity in Oman is a major threat. Their habitat is being destroyed, eggs are harvested, hatchlings are disoriented by artificial light, and adults are captured by fishermen or accidentally drawn in nets.

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