Feltkamp, E. & Krupp, F. (eds.), Establishment of a Marina Habitat and Wildlife Sanctuary for the Gulf Region. Final report of phase II. Jubail, Frankfurt a.M.

The Marine Turtle Nesting Season, Arabian Gulf, 1992

A b s t r a c t: The marine turtle populations nesting on the offshore islands in the Arabian Gulf were monitored during the 1992 nesting season to gather information on general nesting activities, approximate sizes of both green turtle Chelonia mydas and hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata populations and an estimate of the number of hatchlings released to the sea. The islands were monitored by teams of six to eight persons during the months of June and July, 1992. It was found that mating and nesting procedures were consistent with those found elsewhere. Morphometrically, adult females were found to be similar to those of previous years at the same location, but at the lower end of world-wide scales. The average number of eggs per female was also lower than that of other localities. It is suggested that the environmental extremes in the Gulf are the causative factors. Both species of turtle are threatened by commercial and artisanal fisheries, prompting the institution of strict, enforceable regulations for both industries regarding the capture and use of turtles and their products. It is also recommended that the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) be mandatory on commercial trawling vessels. In order to conserve the populations of marine turtles in the Gulf it is recommended that an international panel be established through the GCC Environmental Council and/or ROPME to encourage the international cooperation and the exchange of resources, personnel and expertise.