How Is ESO Protecting Nesting Turtles In Masirah Island From Ghost Fishing?

Each year, up to 1 million tonnes of lost or discarded fishing equipment is abandoned in the ocean. These abandoned nets continue to fish, trapping and often killing up to 650,000 marine animals in a phenomenon known as ‘ghost fishing’.

As part of its long-term mission to reduce the entanglement of marine and coastal wildlife in abandoned fishing nets, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO), supported by the British Embassy Muscat, has launched an animated video as part of a larger initiative designed to mitigate the impact of abandoned fishing nets on sea turtle populations on Masirah Island and to accelerate the recycling of fishing nets in Oman.

This also included a clean-up campaign earlier this year, wherein a total of 70 tons of abandoned fishing nets were cleared from important nesting beaches on Masirah Island.

Highlighting the threats posed to marine life caused by abandoned fishing nets and other marine debris, the animation also sheds light on the community’s shared responsibility to keep Oman’s oceans clean.

The animation is part of a wider program of outreach initiatives undertaken on Masirah Island, which has seen a 79 per cent decline in nesting loggerhead turtle populations over the last 30 years.

Since 2017, ESO has coordinated the removal of over 685 tons of abandoned fishing gear from Masirah Island. As Oman’s only non-profit organisation focusing on environmental conservation, ESO has embarked on behavioural change campaigns targeting fishermen and the local communities to reduce the impact of net entanglements and move towards the safe disposal of nets.

The aim of these initiatives is to promote the safe return of native wildlife and endangered nesting turtles to the island and to Oman’s beaches.

For more information on ESO’s initiatives, or for those who wish to support ESO to carry on its important work, and secure Oman’s environmental health for the coming generations, visit