We will now use a state-of-the-art satellite tracking system to chart their movements. This will help us learn more about their migration routes and feeding grounds, and add to the excellent body of data we have already gathered from the previous two years of the Marine Turtle Conservation Project.
The data will help us to provide vital information to government decision-makers on the critical foraging areas in the Gulf, so that they can form effective strategies for protecting the turtles.
With the tracking system, we can log how many kilometers each turtle covers. We use this data to create 'The Great Gulf Turtle Race 2012'. 28 of the 31 tagged turtles will be participating in this symbolic race and the turtle that covers the greatest distance when the race ends at midnight on July 12, will be crowned the winner of the Great Gulf Turtle Race 2012.
Who will be the winning turtle?
That question is wide open, because we saw last year that this race is anything but predictable. A turtle can clock up an extraordinary total over one, two or even more weeks, then decide it's time to rest. Alternatively a turtle can take it very easy then without warning, put on a turn of speed that sends it storming up the rankings.
The only thing we can safely predict is that there will be lots of exciting twists and turns as the race progresses.
Let's take a close-up look at your turtle: Hooter
Before the race really gets going in earnest, let's start with some quick, general background on the turtles' nesting habits - it may help you get a grasp of what Hooter is up to!
During the nesting period, female turtles emerge on the beach to lay their eggs and they may return two or three times, or even more, to lay eggs again in the same season.
So if we tag a turtle and she then stays close to the beach, it usually means she still has more eggs to lay. If she starts to head away from the beach soon after, it means that we tagged her at the end of her nesting period and she is now making for her feeding grounds.
We spotted Hooter at Fuwairat in Qatar. After we tagged her, she headed along the coast towards Umm Taes, which is a popular nesting site for hawksbill turtles. Perhaps she is going to nest again, or perhaps she's preparing to move on farther.
In the preliminary period between being tagged and the start of the race, she clocked up 383 kms. Let's see what happens in the week ahead, when the distance she covers will count towards her final total.
Vote for your favourite turtle!
Over the course of the race, you're invited to give all the contestants a close look and decide which one should win the Most Popular Turtle award.
You can base your decision on their appearance, their courage, location, character or any other reason that crosses your mind. It's entirely up to you!
Cast your vote at www.gulfturtles.com
Be sure to check out the website regularly for additional updates on the progress of the race, so you don't miss a single moment of the fun.
You can also keep in touch and get involved on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ews.wwf.