Ritz-Carlton Maldives partners with Olive Ridley Project for turtle conservation  

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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands has announced a new collaboration with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP) to protect vulnerable sea turtles and their habitats through rescue, rehabilitation, education and research.  

The new collaboration with ORP includes the implementation of a temporary sea turtle holding facility, enabling resort teams to bring sick and injured sea turtles to safety. For turtles that require medical treatment, the temporary facility will provide the necessary care before being transported 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 our 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 Ritz-Carlton Maldives said.

“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.”

According to the resort, since its opening in 2021, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives has been committed to the protection of sea turtles as part of its advanced environmental field work spearheaded by resort naturalists and a progressive research community, including a partnership with British PhD researcher and Sustainability Manager Melissa Schiele. 

With the first Ambassadors of the Environment program with Jean Michel Cousteau in the Maldives, and its own drone conservation research to monitor the ocean habitat, the resort teams have rescued four sea turtles entangled in 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.