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.