Six Senses Laamu formalises partnership with Olive Ridley Project

Six Senses Laamu has established an official partnership with Olive Ridley Project.

Although Six Senses Laamu has been working together with the Olive Ridley Project since 2016, the official partnership allows the resort to achieve its objective of creating a sanctuary for turtles in Laamu atoll.

As part of the partnership, research on feeding in sea grass habitats and nesting in beach habitats on Six Senses Laamu and surrounding islands will complement the existing photo identification work. Sea turtle biologist Nina Rothe will be based at the resort to facilitate guest interaction with Six Senses’ resident Green and Hawksbill turtles, both of which are on the endangered species list. Kid’s activities and evening presentations at the resort will inform guests about sea turtle biology, the critical role they play in coral reef ecosystems and the threats they face.

Six Senses Laamu is located on Olhuveli island in Laamu atoll, a nesting beach for Green Turtles. In 2017, the resort hosted eight turtle nests and welcomed over 500 hatchlings into the world. The 2018 nesting season has begun with three nests in the last month and it is expected to welcome its first hatchlings in mid-June 2018.

“We are thrilled to formalise the already beneficial relationship we have with Olive Ridley Project and welcome Nina to the team. The great work in sea turtle conservation and plastic pollution they do across the Maldives will be central to achieving our conservation objectives in the Laamu atoll,” General Manager Marteyne van Well was quoted in a statement, as saying.

The Olive Ridley Project is a UK registered charity with the mission of protecting all species of sea turtles, including the Olive Ridley sea turtle for which the organisation is named. Olive Ridley sea turtles are rarely seen in Maldives and most encounters occur when they are unfortunately trapped in discarded ghost nets drifting into the country’s waters by ocean currents. The Olive Ridley Project’s important work involves removing ghost nets and other marine debris from the sea, rescuing and rehabilitating injured sea turtles and raising awareness about the dangers of ocean pollution to the livelihood of sea turtles.

AN Olive Ridley sea turtle trapped in a ghost net. PHOTO/ MARTIN STELFOX

The Olive Ridley Project’s national database consists of over 3,000 individual turtles and Six Senses Laamu’s marine biologists have been contributing photo IDs from Laamu atoll since 2016, while simultaneously building their own database of about 350 individuals. The aim is to study the turtles’ population and reef residency patterns in order to inform significant conservation objectives. Six Senses Laamu also contributes data on the ghost nets found, which the Olive Ridley Project uses to determine the origin of the nets, educate people on the dangers of ghost nets and the importance of preventing them, as well as inform policymakers on net design that is least likely to cause entanglement.

“We are excited to partner with Six Senses Laamu as we continue our charitable aims of rescuing sea turtles, combating plastic pollution and raising awareness,” Martin Stelfox, Founder and CEO of the Olive Ridley Project, said.

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort located in the Laamu atoll, which lies in the southern part of the Maldives. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the resort prides itself on its commitment to sustainable operations and development as outlined by Agenda 21 and Green Globe Benchmarking.

At Six Senses Laamu, most of the villas and facilities are built overwater. However, beach villas and on-land dining is an option. All villas offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, with an amazing view to the Ocean and Maldivian nature.

Six Senses Laamu offers a wide range of dining options, with cuisines from around the world, a swimming pool with a sunken bar, an ice cream parlour, an overwater wine cellar and a signature Chill bar. Many activities, excursions and options are available for everyone to enjoy, both overwater and underwater, in addition to the Six Senses Spa.

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