Amilla Fushi, Finolhu host turtle excursions with Olive Ridley Project expert

Amilla Fushi and Finolhu have hosted Ibrahim Shameel from the Olive Ridley Project to conduct a range of excursions and awareness activities on sea turtles.

In an announcement, The Small Maldives Island Co., which manages Amilla and Finolhu, said Shameel visited both resorts from April 7-17, and led guest excursions with an introductory briefing to turtle biology, ecology and threats and conservation with a special focus on the Olive Ridley project. He also conducted awareness sessions for staff to engage them in turtle protection; turtle rescue and first aid for the transport team, and nest and egg protection for the gardening and security team, it added.

During the excursions, Amilla identified over 46 hawkbill turtles, one green turtle including a turtle with a missing flipper and one with a deformed shell equaling a total number of 71 sightings. Finolhu identified four hawksbill sea turtles and 11 green sea turtles totalling 32 turtle encounters including one hawksbill with missing flipper.

“Some would say this is turtle-tastic! Luckily during this time, we rescued an olive ridley juvenile turtle from a ghost nest with the help of Milaidhoo island resort. This turtle has injuries to its flipper and was safely transported to the turtle hospital to see the registered vet at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu,” the announcement read.

During Shameel’s time at Finolhu, a green turtle nest hatched, with 111 baby green turtles seen running over the beach into the ocean on April 14.

“A once in a lifetime experience for many of our guests and a first for Shameel as well. With protecting any kind of sea turtles, if rescuing olive ridleys out of ghost nets to securing baby green turtles a safe way over the beach (without crabs and sea birds eating them) we might be able so safe these species from extinction,” the announcement read.

According to The Small Maldives Island Co., its two properties also raised over USD 1,000 for the Olive Ridley Project as part of their yearly donation scheme.

The Olive Ridley Project was founded in 2013 in response to the large amounts of entangled Olive Ridley sea turtles encountered in the Maldives. They wanted to understand the phenomenon of Olive Ridley sea turtles drifting into the Maldives entangled in ghost nets and identify where the ghost nets originate from.

In the Maldives, fishing is done mainly with pole and line. Ghost nets found in Maldivian waters most likely drifted here with the currents. The Olive Ridley Project aims to protect and preserve the Indian Ocean from ghost nets by actively removing discarded fishing nets, rescuing and nursing entangled turtles back to health, educating local and scientific communities about the issue, identifying the origins of the ghost nets and target these location to change their fishing techniques, and promoting end of life recycling of fishing nets.

Accessible by a 30-minute scenic seaplane flight from the Maldives’ main Velana International Airport, Amilla offers a choice of 59 houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestled among lush tree tops or hugging the shores of pristine white sand. Additionally, the resort offers eight spectacular four to eight bedroom Beach Residences ideally suited to large families, groups of friends and VVIPs seeking the ultimate in space and privacy.

Bringing a timeless sense of style to the pristine lagoons and rich waters of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll, Finolhu, which opened last June, is a refined, retro-inspired island paradise for the fun-loving beach-erati, and an unexpected revival of the halcyon days of the classic chic getaway. With its retro themed Maldives island concept, Finolhu caters to guests seeking fun and adventure on a party atmosphere.

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