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Celebrate World Sea Turtle Day 2021 with Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

Celebrate World Sea Turtle Day 2021 with Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

13 Jun 2021
Maldives Sea Turtles

This Wednesday, 16th of June, we celebrate World Sea Turtle Day, and we have an exciting event planned!

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, Prodivers Maldives, and the Olive Ridley Project invite guests to join us on a mission to protect our sea turtles and their habitats in Lhaviyani Atoll.

We have planned a half-day adventure to an uninhabited island, Dhihdhoo, south of Lhaviyani Atoll, which has a washed-up ghost net stranded on the beach. Ghost nets are lost or discarded fishing nets that are left in the ocean and continue to cause harm to marine life. If left on the beach, we fear this net will become dislodged and continue entangling marine life for many years to come. We will make sure that never happens!

World Sea Turtle Day Half-day Adventure

On the boat ride to the island, our Sea Turtle Biologist from the Olive Ridley Project will talk about the many wonders of sea turtles, how they manage to spend their whole lives in the ocean and the threats they face. Then we will enjoy a few hours on the island to extract the net, clean up other debris and swim in the surrounding lagoon. On the boat ride back to Kuredu, guests can learn to make bracelets from twine cut from ghost nets while enjoying tea, coffee and snacks. Bracelets the guests have made will be theirs to keep as a memento to take home!

Join us and be part of real-life practical and vital conservation efforts to save sea turtles and other marine life from the harmful effects of ghost gear. Enjoy a boat ride through Lhaviyani Atoll and the views of islands, reefs, and the ocean! Step foot on an uninhabited island, swim in the beautiful waters and be part of real change for good!

*This activity is complimentary for Kuredu guests but spaces are limited. Please sign up at Prodivers Maldives Dive Centre 1 day prior to save your spot. Visit Kuredu’s official Facebook page for further details.

Kuredu Island’s Partnership with the Olive Ridley Project

We at Kuredu are proud to work with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP), a registered British charity dedicated to protecting sea turtles and their habitats in the Indian Ocean.

If you have stayed with us on Kuredu, you may have met our Sea Turtle Biologist, from ORP, on a Turtle Search or while diving and snorkelling, or perhaps in her office at the Marine Biology Centre. The main work of ORP’s Sea Turtle Biologist is the rescue of sea turtles found entangled in ghost nets or other debris. Often when a ghost net is encountered, there is an olive ridley turtle stuck inside. This species of turtle spend their whole lives in the high seas where they are in danger of encountering one of the many drifting ghost nets. When we rescue or receive an injured turtle, transfer to the ORP’s veterinary clinic in Baa Atoll is swiftly arranged by our team. Thanks to cooperation between our staff and other resorts, NGOs, and local islands, 30 ghost nets have been removed and 23 turtles were rescued in the past 4 years of working with ORP in the Lhaviyani Atoll!

Maldives Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles in the Lhaviyani Atoll

The population of wild turtles are studied through photo identification of their unique patterns of facial scales. If you have visited Kuredu, you may have met some of our resident turtles yourselves; by now, we know most of them by name! Everyone can help the population study by sharing turtle photos they have taken during their stay.

Lhaviyani Atoll’s reefs and lagoons support large numbers of green and hawksbill sea turtles, both endangered and need our protection. We have recorded over 300 individual green turtles and almost 250 individual hawksbills in the past four years! As much as 20% of the Maldives’ green sea turtles have been seen in the waters around Kuredu island alone! If you love sea turtles as much as we do, there’s no better place to visit!

ORP is also working to protect sea turtle nests across the country, and we are proud to say that Kuredu Island is one of the country’s green sea turtle nesting hotspots! This year alone, Kuredu has had 8 nests, the most recent of which was laid just last week! Sea turtles take a long time to reach sexual maturity, up to 25 years for green turtles; they then undertake a dangerous migration from their home reef to the area in which they themselves were born in order to mate and lay their eggs. Green turtles can lay around 100 eggs per nest and up to 5 nests a season; however, they only nest every 2 to 3 years, not every year. The nests incubate between 50 to 70 days, and once they hatch, the baby turtles race to the sea, but due to a myriad of predators and threats, only 1 from 1000 hatchlings may survive until adulthood. This means that every nest, every egg and every hatchling counts to support their declining populations! We watch over the nests throughout their incubation and prepare for the hatchlings to safely make their way to the sea.

Our collaboration with ORP has also given us the chance to educate guests and team members on appropriate behaviour when swimming with sea turtles and around nesting females and hatchlings, which is to avoid disturbance from lights and noise, do not approach too close and never touch a turtle, they are wild animals and deserve our utmost respect!

Marine Biologist
About the Author

Emily Mundy is the Sea Turtle Biologist working for the Olive Ridley Project. Born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, she has always loved nature and being outdoors, and was fascinated with the ocean as a child.

Sea Turtle Biologist Emily is always happy for guests to visit her at Kuredu’s Marine Biology Centre and join her on snorkel tours for sea turtle encounters. Learn more about Emily here: Meet Emily Mundy of the Olive Ridley Project

Special thanks to Roman Azarov (featured photo) and the Olive Ridley Project for the images

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