Despite the devastation situation in Beirut after the blast, a group of Lebanese environmental activists had a mission to fulfill that they have been working on for months and it needed to be carried out now.
In collaboration with the Institute of Saidon and the Association of Professional Divers, they released a hundred endangered green turtles into the sea in Saida, south of Lebanon.
Unfortunately, over the many years, sea turtles have been the victims of reckless behaviors by citizens. Some even endanger these creatures just to take a selfie.
According to GreenArea International, the organization had to call on the Lebanese civil defense numerous times to stop these violations against these sea creatures.
The sea turtles cross millions of nautical miles to lay their eggs where they were born; a tradition that is part of the marine bio-fortification cycle in the Mediterranean.
Green Area, Lebanon
The event of sending to their habitat a hundred sea turtles came as an environmental action to save the endangered species, and also to spread awareness of the importance of the marine life in Lebanon.
Earlier this year, UN Environment conducted a monitoring of the presence of sea turtles along Lebanon’s coastline. They found 74 nests of Loggerheads and only 3 nests of green sea turtles mainly in the south of Lebanon.
That brought the green sea turtles to be classified as an endangered species.
Environmentalists in Saida took it upon themselves to care for the turtles’ eggs found in those three nests and their breeding process.
And, on August 18th, they successfully released the herd into Sidon’s sea.
There is an important reason why the Lebanese should take this matter seriously.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, these green turtles “graze on seagrasses and algae, which maintains the seagrass beds and makes them more productive […].”
When consumed by green turtles, seagrass “becomes available as recycled nutrients to the many species of plants and animals that live in the seagrass ecosystem.”
Hunting whales, seals, and sea turtles are forbidden in Lebanon under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Decision No. 125/1 dated 23/09/99.