New rules for visitors to turtle reserves
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) has set stricter regulations for turtle reserves in the country.
In a new Ministerial Decision (No 64/2017), the ministry has issued a number of articles that relate to setting new rules and regulations regarding the turtle reserves.
The first article states that it is not allowed to enter the reserve without a permit from the ministry and in order to go to the turtle nesting beaches, it must be with a registered guide. The decision also stated that it is not allowed to bring pets into the reserve and not more than 80 people are allowed to stay at the reserve at once.
The decision also set a speed limit inside the reserve that is not more than 50km/hr and it is not allowed to drive along the beach.
The other articles stated that it is not allowed to start any activity that may harm the turtles. The decision also came to neither allow people to touch the turtles nor to move or gather the turtle eggs. The decision also states that it is not allowed to disturb the surrounding nature or cut trees inside the reserve.
The ministry’s decision added that it is not allowed to use electricity generators, camera flashes after 10pm, setting up strong lightings, lighting fires near the beach and not to use strong flashlights. It is not allowed to organise group activities on the beaches near the turtle nesting ground and it is not allowed to dive except in the specialised areas, the decision stated.
The decision also allowed fishing in Khor Gramma and Khor al Hajer in Sharqiyah. The decision stated that nets are allowed for fishing but gill nets are not.
The decision stipulates a fine of not less than RO50 and not more than RO300 for any violations. The fine is doubled for repeat offenders.
This decision is not for Royal Army of Oman and ROP staff while on duty, government and academic staff while on duty, residents of the reserve and official government delegations.