Two Olive Ridley turtles trapped
Yesterday during his early morning walk around the resort the GM of Kihaa Maldives spotted this big net entangled underneath the water villas. Unfortunately two Olive Ridley turtles were trapped in it. He called us for help but immediately went in the water and started to disentangle the net and dragged it towards the beach. In the meantime @Marc Zaalberg arrived equipped with a knife to help and cut the turtles free.
Both turtles showed some abrasions on their fins but were still active and capable to dive and swim away. We don’t know how long this ghost net was drifting in the ocean and at what stage the turtles got trapped in the net. The usual habitat of Olive Ridley turtles is outside the Atoll, so it must have taken some time for the net to arrive inside the Atoll. Luckily both turtles got away with just a fright and some abrasions.
Olive Ridley Project
We took some cuttings from the net and will send them together with photos and videos we took to the Olive Ridley Project
(ORP) so they can establish more details. ORP has 6 research bases in the Maldives with scientists and veterinarians. One of them in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
ORP aims to raise awareness on the dangers the ghostnets pose to turtles. Their task is multifold:
– rescue, medical attention and rehabilitation of turtles
– educating school children, boat crew, fishermen, tourists and volunteers
– teaching fishermen how to rescue a turtle from a net
– collecting data and research on nesting, foraging, population growth, survival rate, health, habitat, threats and more
– recovering ghost gear
ORP operates not only in the Maldives but also in Kenya, UK, Oman, Pakistan and Seychelles. You can adopt a turtle, buy a ghost net bracelet or dog leashes. Visit their website to learn more on how you can help.
A big thank you to Kihaa Maldives GM for spotting and rescuing 2 turtles yesterday.
Olive Ridley Turtles
April 15, 2023