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Divers remove 210kg of marine debris from the sea in Sifah

10 Jun 2024 Divers remove 210kg of marine debris from the sea in Sifah By MOHAMMED TAHA

Muscat – Nine Omani volunteer divers from Quriyat came together for a mission to clean the marine environment and safeguard coral reefs on June 7. 

The team, under the banner of Quriyat Divers, removed 210kg of discarded fishing nets from the Sifah area of Muscat.

In an interview with Muscat Daily, Juma Khamis al Amri, Head of Quriyat Divers, informed that the team has conducted 33 clean-up campaigns since its formation in 2019. 

Its most recent endeavour involved extracting nets from depths ranging between 8m to 12m. During the operation, the team also rescued marine creatures, including turtles, ensnared in the nets.

Reflecting on the challenges faced, Amri emphasised the daunting task of securing suitable boats for the campaigns. Relying on fishermen’s boats poses a significant hurdle, compounded by the considerable distances to cover and the associated fuel costs, often borne by team members themselves. 

Additionally, the scorching heat during operations further complicates matters, especially without boats equipped for prolonged exposure to the sun in the hot weather.

Amri added, “The sight of lifeless turtles and fish entangled in abandoned fishing nets struck a chord with our team, underscoring the urgency of our mission. I extend my sincere appreciation to the committed members of Quriyat Divers for their tireless dedication to preserving our marine ecosystem. I implore fishermen to exercise caution when deploying fishing nets, and steer clear of shallow areas and coral habitats.”

He also extended gratitude to the management of Jebel Sifah Oman for its unwavering support to the clean-up drive. 

“Our overarching goal is to cultivate environmental awareness within our community. We are gearing up for another sea-cleaning campaign in Quriyat on June 28, following the Eid al Adha holiday, spurred by the discovery of fishing net waste in the area,” Amri added.

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