Prodivers Maldives rescues another olive ridley turtle

16 May 2014

Despite being considered the most abundant sea turtle species in the world, the olive ridley is very rare in the Maldives, and faces a high risk of extinction due to several natural and human inflicting threats in all life stages.

Our instructor Ana went through an eye-opening experience during one of her recent trips to the must-see Anemone Thila. Robert Jaeggi, our many time repeater guest, informed Ana he saw something unusual at the water surface so they better check what it was. Captain Ibrahim turned the boat and with the help of all the divers and the boat crew, a fishing net was found floating at the surface. Despite keeping the fingers crossed and hoping not to find anything entangled in it, the discovery was a horrendous one. An olive ridley was caught in an abandoned fishing net. The crew brought the whole net onto the boat in order to make the rescue easier.

Fortunately the turtle didn’t suffer from any major injury, it seemed to be in a good condition and shortly after being let go, it swam away happily. The stress of not being able to rescue itself, on the other hand, must have been terrible. Every time we rescue a turtle, we’re hoping it’s the last one to need our help.

Why turtles matter:

They’re a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds. Olive ridley turtles also provide a type of refuge for many seabirds, allowing them to perch on their shells as the turtles surface.

The main threats which affect marine turtles:

  • Habitat loss and degradation
  • Wildlife trade
  • Collection of eggs and meat for consumption
  • Bycatch
  • Climate change
  • Pollution

Want to find out more?

Join our Sea Turtle Diver course, PADI’s disctinctive specialty course that Prodivers Maldives developed in order to raise awareness about these magnificent creatures and allow you to see them up close and personal in their natural habitat.