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World Ocean Day: Time to act against human impact on oceans 

8 Jun 2024 World Ocean Day: Time to act against human impact on oceans

Muscat – The sultanate, represented by Environment Authority, marked World Ocean Day, on Saturday, under the slogan ‘Catalysing Action for Our Ocean and Climate’. 

This year’s celebration was intended to raise awareness on the impact of human actions on the oceans, develop global efforts and unite the world in the project of sustainable management of the world’s oceans and protecting these from pollution. 

Observing the day, 29 divers conducted a reef cleanup at Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve on Saturday. 

The initiative was organised by Oman Sail with the support of Omantel in collaboration with Environment Authority.

Champion Omani diver Omar al Ghailani, former world record holder for deepest free dive, joined the initiative, lending his considerable experience to reach discarded items lurking out of sight.

Several studies have shown that damage to coral reefs due to discarded and lost fishing gear disturb the life cycles of many marine species and threaten the health of sea life. Fish, turtles and birds ingest plastic left in the oceans or get caught in washed up fishing nets. 

On the occasion, Khamis al Anbouri, Acting Commercial Director of Oman Sail, said, “We are uniquely placed to witness firsthand the disruption to the Daymaniyat Island reefs and it is our duty to lend our expertise to restore this beautiful area of national importance. Oman Sail is a passionate supporter of our oceans and encourages everyone across the nation to do all they can to keep our coastlines clean, for World Ocean Day and every day.”

The Daymaniyat Islands is Oman’s first marine nature reserve and home to some of the nation’s best-developed coral reefs. Over 100 species of coral fish and 579 species of reef fish, as well as globally endangered turtles, whales, sharks and dolphins visit the islands every year to breed and nest in the warm waters.

The islands have become a hot spot for local and international divers and snorkelers drawn to the area’s numerous dive sites. As a result, the islands are an important ecotourism destination and form a key component of the National Strategy for Fisheries 2040. The islands are a key site in maintaining environmental sustainability in line with Oman Vision 2040.

Saba Said al Busaidi, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs at Omantel, said, “At Omantel, it is vitally important to raise awareness on the need to protect our marine environment; the oceans provide us with connectivity to more than 120 cities around the world through our submarine cables. Oman is blessed with diversity which we must maintain and help to thrive.” 

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