2021 in Numbers with Kuredu Marine Center

12 Jan 2022

Emily has had a busy and exciting year at Kuredu’s Marine Center. 2021 has been spent carrying out lots of important sea turtle research and conservation work with Olive Ridley Project in collaboration with Prodivers and Kuredu Resort Maldives.

The year in numbers:

  • 12 ghost nets were retrieved from the ocean, documented and disposed of.
  • 10 sea turtles were rescued across Lhaviyani atoll, with the help of ORP’s rescue center vet, Atoll Marine Center on Naifaru and other resorts, water sports and dive centers.
  • 232.8 hours of in water surveys have been completed to document and monitor the wild sea turtle population of Lhaviyani.
  • 1474 sea turtle sightings were documented, to which dive instructors, snorkel guides, guest divers and snorkelers, and marine biologists across Lhaviyani atoll all contributed.
  • 16 successfully laid green sea turtle nests, the most documented in one year since our records began in 2017!
  • 18 nests hatched – the most documented in one year since our records began in 2017! (2 nests that were laid in late 2020 hatched in 2021).
  • 1345 baby turtles hatched on Kuredu in 2021, which sounds impressive, but remember, only 1 out of 1000 baby turtles survives to adulthood.
  • 52 Kuredu resort staff attended a training workshop highlighting the importance of sea turtles to tourism, the threats to them, and the code of conduct for behaving around nesting females and hatchling turtles. The workshop received good feedback and more are planned for 2022.

In 2021 there was a lot of focus on this boom nesting season with regular nesting surveys, protection of nesting females from accidental disturbance by people, monitoring of the nests and protecting them from beach erosion and saltwater inundation, and watching due nests for signs of hatching.

Our ability to monitor, protect and witness the hatching of turtle nests was greatly aided this year by the generous donation of a solar powered night vision outdoor camera, that I was able to monitor remotely. I created a NestWatch group, consisting of guests that had come to the Marine Center to enquire, for each due nest; they received a briefing on how to check the nest, and the code of conduct for how to behave around hatchling turtles. These guests then volunteered their time by checking on the nest once daily, and providing me with much needed support at the time of hatching, by ensuring the turtles were not disturbed by the presence of people, lights and noise at the time of hatching. This new initiative worked really well, with many successfully hatching nests witnessed by guests, many of whom gave positive feedback and/or kindly donated money to the Olive Ridley Project or adopted a sea turtle by way of supporting our charity. It’s been a busy year!” – Emily Mundy

Photo credit: Olive Ridley Project