Hurawalhi Maldives hosted Martin Stelfox, founder and CEO of the Olive Ridley Project, for a 4-day visit, during which the resort’s guests and team members received a lot of interesting information about sea turtles and about threats these magnificent animals are exposed to.
Martin joined our guests on two Turtle Tour snorkelling excursions; combined, we visited three different snorkel sites that are known to have resident populations of sea turtles – Kuredu Caves (a.k.a. Turtle Airport), Kuredu Lagoon and Komandoo House Reef – which allowed our guests to not only see these sleepyheads up close and personal, but also to get plenty of fascinating insights from Martin and Lisa, the resort’s resident marine biologist.
The Turtle Tours were charity events and it was with great pleasure to be able to make a generous donation to the Olive Ridley Project that will surely be beneficial to the organisation’s conservations and protection projects across the Indian Ocean.
To show our guest what lurks deeper down beneath the ocean surface, Martin happily accepted Prodivers’ invitation to dive at two of Lhaviyani Atoll’s famous dive sites, Kuredu Express and Kuredu Caves; in total, the divers spotted a whopping 16 green sea turtles! At Caves, the group even met two familiar turtles, Clio and Sapphire.
On Tuesday evening, at the weekly Prodivers’ Divers Night in Coco Bar, Martin gave a talk on sea turtle biology and the mission of the Olive Ridley Project.
To wrap up the visit, Martin joined the excursion to the Turtle Sanctuary at Naifaru to visit the 4 Olive ridley sea turtles that had to be transferred to Naifaru for rehabilitation after being rescued by Hurawalhi and Prodivers. Zoe Cox, the marine biologist of the sea turtle rehabilitation centre, was a great host.
On behalf of everyone at Hurawalhi, including guests who clearly appreciated the knowledge and passion he shared with us, we would like to thank Martin Stelfox for visiting the resort – we look forward to many more common turtle-related projects in the future!
Last but certainly not least, a big ‘well done’ to Paige, Lisa and Martin for having removed a ghost net from the nearby Latheef dive site and thereby prevented the reef from being further damaged and marine life being entrapped.
Coco Collection is pleased to announce the official partnership with the Olive Ridley Project to setup turtle rescue centers and jointly reduce the effect of ghost nets on marine life. During a ceremony held at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu on 18th January, guests and associates joined Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project and Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins, the Project Scientist of the Olive Ridley Project as well as Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s Resident Marine Biologist, to officially kick off this partnership.
This partnership will see the construction of the first Olive Ridley Project Turtle Rescue Center at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu with a dedicated team member of the Project at the Center to oversee the operations. Guests of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu will be able to support the project and donate funds for the construction of this Center by purchasing a signature Olive Ridley Turtle toy available for USD 28, or by direct donations either at time of booking or on the resort. Proceeds will go towards the construction phase of the project, and once the center is established, educational presentations, tailored snorkeling sessions and ghost net research excursions will be available as guest experiences. Similar initiatives will take place at Coco Bodu Hithi in a later stage of this collaboration.
“Since its establishment in 2013, the Olive Ridley Project has been working actively with dedicated individuals who are keen to support the project by removing ghost nets that have been abandoned or lost in the ocean, continuing to entangle vulnerable marine animals. Coco Collection has been on board with us from the beginning and today, we are extremely happy to sign this partnership, declaring Coco Collection as the official Olive Ridley Project Partner for Turtle Rescue Centers in Maldives. This is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership and I would like to thank all the guests and associates of Coco Collection for their continuous support and passion.” comments Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project.
From 16th – 21st January, Martin was accompanied by Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu where they joined Chiara Fumagalli for interactive guest presentations and excursions. With the overwhelming support of the associates, Martin & Jillian also conducted trainings on how to safely remove ghost nets from entangled marine life.
“I am beyond excited that Coco Collection is now an official partner of the Olive Ridley Project! With the continuous support of our eager guests and hardworking associates, this is a great opportunity for us to get more exposure for the detrimental effects of ghost nets on marine life and continue raising awareness to actively fight against it. We have received tremendous support from both guests and associates who have donated to the cause by purchasing the turtle toys and I am positively looking forward for the next step in this journey.” comments Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s resident Marine Biologist.
Keeping in line with its brand promise to care for the environment and recognize the need for sustainability, Coco Collection is proud to enrich their support for the Olive Ridley Project with this partnership.
About Olive Ridley Project
The Olive Ridley Project was set up by a group of Marine biologists situated within the Maldives working towards preventing entanglement of Olive Ridley’s and other marine organisms. Apart from actively removing nets and helping any entangled marine life, the Olive Ridley Project compiles data identifying types of nets, fishing methods being used, and entanglements in order to figure out why so many nets are drifting in the Indian Ocean. With an aim to educate school children, local communities and all those whose depend on the Indian Ocean about the detrimental effects of ghost nets, the Olive Ridley Project hopes to work together with dedicated individuals to protect this ecologically important area. www.oliveridleyproject.org