Coco Collection in alliance with the Olive Ridley Project opens the first Turtle Rescue Centre in Maldives
Coco Collection and the Olive Ridley Project have signed an official partnership agreement and opened the first Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. The center is complete with a resident Veterinary Surgeon leading the operation.
Coco Collection announced the official and exclusive partnership with the Olive Ridley Project in January 2015, to setup turtle centers and at the same time reduce the repercussions of ghost nets on marine life. On 02nd February 2017, Coco Collection celebrated the inauguration of the first Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.
Collaborating and working with enthusiastic intelligent individuals to protect the fragile natural environment of Maldives has always been a main focus of the brand philosophy at Coco Collection. In 2013, the Coco Collection properties were introduced to the Olive Ridley Project by the former resident marine biologist, Chiara Fumagalli. The Olive Ridley Project was involved in taking steps towards protecting sea turtles and their habitats. Besides actively removing ghost nets that pose a serious threat to sea turtles, they have a big library of compile data that identifies types of nets and fishing methods being used. This helps in figuring out why so many nets are adrift in the Indian Ocean. Since 2013, Coco Collection has been working together with the project to rescue sea turtles that have been entangled and there have been events at the resorts to educate guests and associates about the destructive effects these nets have.
Founder and CEO of the Olive Ridley Project, Mr. Martin Stelfox made the statement “The moment is finally here! Coco Collection has been on board with us from day one, and we are delighted to open the first Olive Ridley Project Marine Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm. We are very grateful to the family for their vision as a responsible brand and for their dedication to conservation initiatives. From the beginning, guests and partners of Coco Collection have been supporting the project with generous donations during their stay. This eventually led to the construction of the center, and our heartfelt gratitude goes out to them for their unwavering generosity. As much as we are involved in the removal of ghost gear from the ocean, turtles and marine life in general are still in danger of being entangled in nets and ingesting marine debris. Thankfully, we now have a dedicated place for them to be treated and recover from their injuries.”
Coco Collection’s very own Chief Engineer, Mohamed Didi has created a completely automated system regulating water flow at the center. This system allows preprogrammed procedures to run the entire system. To the day, the center has hosted three turtle patients, with a few more waiting to be transported to the center soon under the care of Dr. Claire Petros, who is the Veterinary Surgeon heading the operations of the center.
In terms of engaging with the local community for awareness programs, Dr. Petros will be working with school children at the neighboring islands involving educational field trips to teach courses on turtle husbandry, ecology and medicine. Along with the marine conversation programs, Coco Collection is continuously working with the community to raise awareness on knowledge concerning good environmental practices useful in everyday life. There are plans of similar initiatives to take place in the future at Coco Bodu Hithi with this collaboration.