Under the official partnership between Coco Collection and the Olive Ridley Project, the first Turtle Rescue Centre is open at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu with a resident Veterinary Surgeon heading the centre.
In January 2015, Coco Collection announced the official and exclusive partnership with the Olive Ridley Project to setup turtle centres and jointly reduce the effect of ghost nets on marine life. On 02nd February 2017, Coco Collection celebrated the opening of the first Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.
Working together with keen like-minded individuals to protect the fragile natural environment of Maldives has always been a core pillar of the brand philosophy behind Coco Collection. In 2013, the properties of Coco Collection were introduced to the Olive Ridley Project by the former resident marine biologist, Chiara Fumagalli. The Olive Ridley Project was set up to work towards protecting sea turtles and their habitats. Apart from actively removing ghost nets that pose a serious threat to sea turtles, they compile data identifying types of nets and fishing methods being used to figure out why so many nets are drifting in the Indian Ocean. Since 2013, Coco Collection has been working together with the project to rescue sea turtles that have been entangled and hold events at the resorts to educate guests and associates about the detrimental effects of these nets.
“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 centre, 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.” comments Martin Stelfox, Founder and CEO of the Olive Ridley Project.
Mohamed Didi, Coco Collection’s Chief Engineer, has created a completely automated system regulating water flow at the centre, and allow for preprogrammed procedures to run the entire system. To date, the centre has received three turtle patients, with a few more waiting to be transported to the centre soon under the care of Dr. Claire Petros, the Veterinary Surgeon heading the operations of the centre. In terms of engaging with the local community for awareness programs, Dr. Petros will be working with school children at the neighbouring islands involving field visits to teach courses on turtle husbandry, ecology and medicine.
Together with the marine conversation programs, Coco Collection is constantly working with the community to raise awareness on knowledge concerning good environmental practices, useful in everyday life. Similar initiatives will take place in Coco Bodu Hithi at a later stage of this collaboration.