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Olive Ridley Project to host 'Vaavoshi Turtle Festival' in Baa Atoll

Ahmed Aiham
26 May 2019, MVT 19:02
Some of the turtles were released back to the sea after rehabilitation at the Naifaru Juvenile during the Lhaviyani Turtle Festival 2018. PHOTO: AMAANY ABDULLA / THE EDITION
Ahmed Aiham
26 May 2019, MVT 19:02

Maldives-based international NGO, Olive Ridley Project (ORP), announced they will be hosting 'Vaavoshi Turtle Festival' in Hithaadhoo, Baa Atoll, on June 22.

The first festival of its kind to be hosted in Baa Atoll, the event brings together various regional islands, resorts and other organizations in order to raise awareness on sea turtle conservation.

Stalls will showcase aspects of marine conservation through various activities, feature educational presentations on the environment and marine conservation and host atoll-wide school competitions.

Additionally, the festival will feature numerous forms of entertainment such as music and art installations.

Organisations, artists and musicians that would like to get involved, are encouraged send emails to vet@oliveridleyproject.org or reach out to +960 9552205.

In 2017, ORP opened its first marine turtle rescue centre and veterinary clinic in Maldives, based at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu resort in Baa Atoll.

ORP actively campaigns for people to contact the organization, should they find a turtle in need of medical treatment or rescuing.

Conservationists worldwide urge that in an event where turtles are caught up in ghost nets or found wandering hopelessly as in the case of the nesting mother, to not flip or hold them by their flippers unless necessary to remove the tangled net, never to drag turtles on the ground, and to call ORP's vets for assistance.

Among many, one reason that protecting sea turtles is an issue of particular essence would be the few percentages that make it to reproductive ages and actually thrive in the wild. To illustrate, an adult turtle can lay over 1,000 eggs during a breeding season, however, it is estimated that only one out of many hatchlings survives till adulthood.

Without protective measures and efforts to nurture these marine animals, they may soon slip off the endangered list into the growing list of creatures declared to be 'officially extinct'.

Although sea turtles are protected under the Environment Protection Act (4/93), due to difficulties in regulation enforcement and monitoring, a large number of citizens still actively eat turtles, citing it a 'cultural norm'.

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