Did you know that because of invisible ghost nets, thousands of turtles and other marine animals in the Indian Ocean are entangled each year? Ghost net entrapment devastates turtles by causing undue stress, dehydration, starvation, and, eventually, death.
The Olive Ridley Project is on a mission to remove ghost nets from the ocean, rescue and rehabilitate injured sea turtles, reuse and reduce marine debris, and educate the world about the danger of ghost nets and the perilous situation of sea turtles. The turtles rescued by the Olive Ridley Project are only a fraction of those who endure this agony in the open sea: It is almost impossible to pinpoint exactly how many go unnoticed.
The Olive Ridley Project, UK Registered Charity No 1165905, was founded in 2013 in response to the large amounts of entangled Olive ridley sea turtles found in the Maldives, where this turtle species is particularly rare. Most encounters with this vulnerable sea turtle here are under stressful conditions; entangled in ghost nets, or floating injured on the surface. Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been lost, abandoned, or discarded at sea. Every year ghost nets injure and kill millions of marine animals.
In February 2017 we opened our Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in partnership with Coco Collection in Baa Atoll, Maldives. The first fully-equipped marine turtle rescue centre in Maldives has laboratory and surgical facilities as well as a full-time resident turtle veterinarian and can accommodate up to eight turtle patients at the time.
We rely on a community of volunteers and citizen scientists, environmentalists and Marine Biologists around the Indian Ocean to carry out ghost net removals in the Indian Ocean and rescue injured turtels; ghost nets are removed and injured turtles transported to the rescue centre after chance sightings by recreational divers and boat crews. We also currently rely on the generosity of volunteers working with our Turtle Vet to ensure proper care for our patients.
The funds we do have, we spend on raising public awareness and educating local communities about the ghost net problem. We provide educational material, workshops, and newsletters about our project.
Donations to the Olive Ridley Project will help us fund the running of our Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in Baa Atoll, where we care for the injured sea turtles rescued throughout the Maldives. Your donation will also help us untangle more turtles from ghost gear, as well as fund our educational programs, ghost gear removal efforts and initiatives to reuse end-of-life fishing gear. We are grateful for any donation we receive – big or small.
On behalf of all sea turtles that will benefit from your generosity, we thank you in advance for your support!