The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands has pursued a new partnership with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP) to develop turtle conservation infrastructure on the property in honour of this year's World Turtle Day. Through rescue, rehabilitation, teaching, and research, this will further help protect vulnerable sea turtles and their ecosystems in the Maldives.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Island has made a commitment to sea turtle conservation as part of its cutting-edge environmental framework ever since it opened in 2021. This project is run by resort naturalists and an enthusiastic research community, including a special collaboration with Melissa Schiele, a British PhD researcher and sustainability manager.

A sea turtle. (Photo/The Olive Ridley Project)

The resort team has now freed a total of four sea turtles caught in ghost nets through its various initiatives, including the Maldives' first Ambassador of the Environment program with Jean Michel Cousteau, drone conservation research, and monitoring the ocean habitat with marine naturalists. The resort's picture-gathering and data processing initiative, the first resort-based conservation technology project in the Maldives to use drones, which monitor ocean plastics, made it possible for these rescues.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands will create a temporary sea turtle holding facility as part of its new partnership with the ORP, allowing resort staff to transport sick and injured sea turtles to safety. Additionally, this will enable turtles in need of medical attention to get the attention they require prior to being taken to the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in Baa, where they will receive additional care from the veterinary staff of ORP.

Fari, a juvenile olive ridley sea turtle. (Photo/Olive Ridley Project)

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives' own data research effort seeks to better understand the distribution and transit of plastics around the country with the eventual goal of using the knowledge to cooperatively inform and effect change. Even now, the property instantly targets and removes any nets or significant debris found by resort drones.

In accordance with the ORP's code of conduct and veterinary guidance, cooperation with the resort will also make it easier to educate and teach the resort teams to handle and rehabilitate sea turtles with sensitivity. From rescue to recovery, the cooperative approach will ensure shared education and expertise while working with ORP's scientists and top veterinarians. In keeping with its dedication to environmental education, the information will also be shared with resort personnel, visitors, and nearby communities.

An Olive Ridley sea turtle.

The Olive Ridley Project was established in 2013 with the goal of protecting sea turtles and their natural habitats through scientific study, education, and outreach programs, as well as rescue and rehabilitation. The ORP team has documented approximately 1100 injured and ill sea turtles in the Maldives as part of their rescue efforts, with the majority of these injuries coming from ghost net entrapment.