Freeing a Sea Turtle from Barnacles in Abu Dhabi

Cayla de Souza

While jet skiing in Abu Dhabi, Shuaib encounters a young sea turtle encrusted with barnacles, impeding its mobility.

The barnacles, though a natural part of the marine ecosystem, can become problematic for sea turtles, affecting their ability to move and access food.

Shuaib takes immediate action, carefully removing each barnacle with his hands, showcasing a moment of human compassion and intervention.

Barnacles attach to turtles for transport to diverse feeding grounds but can cause increased drag, reduced speed, and energy expenditure for the host.

Some barnacles burrow into the turtle’s skin, causing discomfort and potential health issues, leading to increased vulnerability to infections.

Although not used in Shuaib’s case, an alternative barnacle removal method involves placing the turtle in fresh water to loosen the barnacles for easier, safer removal.

Post-rescue, the rejuvenated turtle, free from the barnacles’ burden, is returned to the ocean, highlighting a silent yet significant victory.

The incident illuminates the silent challenges sea turtles face due to barnacle encrustation and calls for increased awareness and conservation efforts.


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