St. Regis Maldives rescues turtle trapped in ghost net

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has rescued a sea turtle that was entangled in a ghost net, giving a new life to a creature that had already suffered a major injury.

While scanning the Vommuli beach last week, the resort team discovered an entangled sea turtle struggling in the shallow water near the Whale Bar.

The team came to the turtle’s rescue and carefully removed the fishing net. After determining that the adult turtle suffered no injuries and was in good condition, the turtle was gently released back into the ocean.⁣⁣

Despite having been possibly entangled for some time, the special guest displayed the typical toughness of its species and swam strongly into the waves upon release.⁣⁣⁣

Due to an old — fully healed — injury, the turtle was already missing its front right flipper. Turtles that have lost one flipper can learn to swim very well and they can go on to live a normal turtle life in the wild.

“We wish our flippered visitor a free and long life, and will continue to support the protection of sea turtles and their habitats in the Indian Ocean,” an announcement read.

In the Maldives, the sea turtle is the number one victim of ghost net entanglements. Sea turtles spend most of their time in the deep blue sea migrating long distances and that is where they encounter drifting ghost nets.⁣⁣⁣

Every year, it is estimated that 640,000 tonnes of ghost nets are discarded at sea, which amounts to 10 per cent of the world’s total marine debris. Ghost nets are commercial fishing nets that have been lost, abandoned, or discarded at sea.

They are responsible for trapping and killing millions of marine animals including sharks, rays, bony fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, crustaceans, and birds. Ghost nets cause further damage by entangling live coral, smothering reefs and introducing parasites and invasive species into reef environments.

Between July 2013 and July 2018, there were 601 turtle entanglements recorded in discarded fishing nets in the Maldives alone.

The Maldives is home to five species of sea turtles, the most frequently spotted out of these five are the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). Loggerheads, Leatherbacks and Olive Ridley turtles are the rarer species.

Although all species of turtles have been protected by law in the Maldives since 1995, the major threats to these animals continue to be egg and meat poaching and entanglement in marine debris.

All seven of the world’s species of sea turtles are on IUCN’s Red List with the Hawksbill turtle being listed as the most critically endangered out of the seven.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli is the first St. Regis resort set on a private island and immerses travellers into an authentic and beautifully natural environment, elevated by the finest expression of luxury and sophistication. Set in an untouched tropical landscape, kissed with sparkling sand and surrounded by the Indian Ocean, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli welcomes travellers to an exclusive paradise steeped in exquisite moments.

Designed with great respect to its natural surroundings, the resort is surrounded by a large house reef and the island is defined by several distinct ecological areas: lagoon, beach coastal and jungle.

At The St. Regis Maldives, guests have the luxury of staying in one of the 77 island and overwater villas, shrouded in lush tropical flora, each with a private pool.

There are seven distinct dining venues, including an Asian specialty restaurant, a modern Italian restaurant that features a grand staircase, an underground wine cellar restaurant, a shack style restaurant, a signature overwater bar that rolls out stunning views of dramatic sunset, and a pop-up restaurant in the middle of the resort.

The signature Iridium Spa at The St. Regis Maldives promises a transformative journey in an oasis of tropically inspired sophistication. Alighting atop the scintillating waves of the Indian Ocean, the 1,850-square-metre overwater sanctuary features plush furnishings set against white oak interiors to create an ambience of elegant tranquility.

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