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Qatar’s Fuwairit beach to reopen on Tuesday

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Turtles at Fuwairat Beach. Credit: Ren Wlasiuk

The popular northern beach of Fuwairit will reopen to the public next week, officials have announced.

The Tuesday, Aug. 1 opening comes following a successful turtle nesting season, in which some 3,000 endangered Hawksbill turtles were released into the sea.

Each year, the beach is closed for four months starting in April to protect the turtle nesting grounds on the coastline.

Turtles at Fuwairat Beach. Credit: Ren Wlasiuk

This helps curb practices that prevent turtles from nesting or burying their eggs, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has previously said.

In the past, turtles have been scared off by loud noises, harsh lights, and people touching the eggs. They’ve also fallen into fishing nets.

Campaign to close beach all year

During the 2017 season, some 52 new nests were counted, the MME said.

Despite the success, some environmentalists in Qatar have been lobbying for Fuwairit beach to be closed all year long.

Fuwairat Beach. Credit: Fatimah Ashraf Khan/Flickr

The move would help protect the nesting turtles and their environment, they previously said.

Hawksbill turtles are very particular about where they lay their eggs, often heading to the exact same spot that they were born, or have previously nested.

This process can be disrupted by litter, ruts in the sand from driving and campfires that leave behind debris.

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