Oman Sail Leads Underwater Clean-up Mission to Support World Oceans Day

Oman Sail today marked the United Nations (UN) World Oceans Day, which falls on 8 June every year.

In line with the UN theme of ‘Revitalisation: Collective Action for the Ocean’ stakeholders came together to remove abandoned fishing nets entangled in the coral of the protected Dimaniyat Islands.

It took 9 divers and 7 snorkelers, surface support volunteers over 2 hours to safely remove the nets. In the process the team were able to release fish that had been caught in the nets, 10 metres deep. The critically endangered Hawksbill turtles watched as the divers patiently and carefully cut the fishing nets entangled in the coral, it was a relief for all that the disregarded nets, that weighed approximately 200kg, was removed from the seabed.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have reported that on average between 500,000 and one million tons of fishing equipment are abandoned in the ocean each year. In 2018, Earth.Org shared that up to 650,000 marine animals are killed by abandoned nets every year.

Dr. Khamis Al Jabri, Oman Sail CEO, said, “Omanis have a unique bond with the water, it is our duty to preserve it for generations to come and the thousands of species of marine life living in the sea and onshore. In partnership with our stakeholders, we are keen to annually take great strides in conservation, by reducing our impact on the environment in every aspect of operations on this day and every day.”

Suaad Al Harthy, Executive Director, ESO said, “Ouroceancovers 70% of the world’s surface, accounts for 80% of theplanet’sbiodiversity and produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen. We are hugely dependent on itfor our own health and yet we continue to take more from the ocean than can be replenished. It is our shared duty to protect it. Abandoned fishing gear is the most significant source of entanglements in all documented records regarding sea turtles and other marine animals. These entanglements resultin injury and often death. We continue to advocate for all fishing communities to ensure that fishing nets are disposed of appropriately. We also call on the public to do their part – dispose of your litter correctly and limit your consumption of single use plastics to help reduce the amount of plastics entering the ocean each year”.

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