Oil smuggling mars exotic Green Turtles’ habitat along Daran Beach

Our Correspondent

The country’s one of the biodiversity rich seashore is facing a serious risk of species loss as illegal oil smuggling being carried out through Daran Beach located in Jiwani, endangering existence of exotic species of Green Turtles, nesting on the coast.

The Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nest on beaches along the coast of Pakistan throughout the year, with the peak nesting season between September and October.

Daran supported the highest number of nesting sea turtles, Senior Technical Advisor to World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF-Pakistan) Muhammad Moazzam Khan told reporters while sharing facts of his study carried out in this regard.

Khan said, Daran due to its remote proximity, was a favourable habitat for green turtles thriving in the region and the only threat it had faced was of predation by feral dogs, jackals, and foxes which dig up eggs, and gulls which prey on hatchlings crossing the beach to the water.

Daran is close to the border between Pakistan and Iran. Because of the porous border, a number of commodities are being smuggled between the two countries.

Fish is the usual product smuggled from Pakistan to Iran, whereas petroleum products (mainly diesel, petrol, grease, and bitumen) are smuggled from Iran to Pakistan, he cited.

One of the main cause, Khan said, of increased oil smuggling from Iran was its cheaper oil prices due to an oil producing country as compared to Pakistan having quite higher prices.

‘In the Jiwani area, this smuggling usually occurs in the creek system north of Daran’ he said.

The Iranian oil is often moved illegally into Pakistan in tankers and jerry cans mounted on pickup trucks and motorcycles in full view of the watchdogs and authorities concerned, the WWF official cited.

After punitive actions of border security agencies and customs authorities against fuel smugglers; it caused a temporary stoppage of the illegal trade.

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