The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, has announced further development of its conservation program in a new collaboration with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP) to celebrate World Turtle Day. This collaboration aims to support the protection of vulnerable sea turtles and their habitats through rescue, rehabilitation, education, and research.
Since its opening in 2021, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands has been committed to the protection of sea turtles as part of its advanced environmental fieldwork. Spearheaded by resort naturalists and a progressive research community, this includes a unique partnership with British PhD researcher and Sustainability Manager Melissa Schiele.
In monitoring the ocean habitat via marine naturalists, the first Ambassadors of the Environment program with Jean Michel Cousteau in the Maldives, and its own drone conservation research, resort teams have to date rescued a total of four sea turtles entangled in abandoned fishing nets (ghost nets). A number of these rescues were made possible by the resort’s image collection and data processing project monitoring ocean plastics, the first resort-based conservation technology project using drones in the Maldives.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands’ new collaboration with ORP will include the implementation of a temporary sea turtle holding facility, enabling resort teams to bring sick and injured sea turtles to safety. For turtles needing medical treatment, the temporary facility will provide the necessary care before their onward transportation to the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in Baa Atoll, where they will be treated by ORP’s veterinary team.
Founded in 2013, the Olive Ridley Project is on a mission to protect sea turtles and their habitats through rescue and rehabilitation, education and outreach and scientific research. As part of their rescue efforts, the ORP team have reported over 1100 injured and sick sea turtles in the Maldives and over 85% of these were Olive Ridleys. Most of these injuries have been caused by ghost net entanglement.
The resort’s own data research project seeks to build upon the understanding of the location and movement of plastics including ghost nets, nationwide, in the hope this information can be used collaboratively to inform and create positive change. Any nets or large pieces of debris identified by resort drones are immediately targeted for removal.
The partnership with ORP will ensure the education and training of the resort community in the sensitive handling and rehabilitation of sea turtles under ORP’s code of conduct and veterinary direction. From rescue to rehabilitation, the collaborative approach will ensure shared education and knowledge working with ORPs scientists and lead veterinarians. Committed to environmental education, this knowledge will be shared within the resort ecosystem from staff and guests to local communities.
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