New rules for vis­i­tors to tur­tle re­serves

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Our Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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