Our days with Martin were packed full of educational initiatives and outreach programs for guests, staff, and even the local school children!
The first morning began with an exciting guest experience, where our guests were treated to an interesting talk about turtle biology and the threats facing our turtle populations, with a particular focus on the star of the show- the ghost net! With our heads full of turtle related knowledge, we headed onto the boat for our snorkeling trip. Floating along the stunning reef of Thulagiri, we spotted hundreds of colourful fish and many different coral species, but what we really wanted to see - the turtles - still evaded us. However, right at the end of the snorkel, we got a surprise as one eagle eyed guest spotted a small Hawksbill turtle a few meters down, feeding on sponges in the reef! As we floated from above to watch, the juvenile turtle slowly drifted up towards us and swam smoothly along the reef, allowing our guests to take some excellent photographs! We were even able to take ID photos of the turtles face, and hope to find out some information about that particular individual!
|Martin explains the threats facing turtle populations to our guests|
|Turtle ID: The scutes on the side of the |
face are unique to each individual like
Following our successful, turtle filled morning, we prepared for the next event of the day- a trip to the local island school on Himmafushi. Just 10 minutes ride on a local dhoni brought us to the beautiful island of Himmafushi where the grade 9 students were waiting for us to teach them all about the importance of the local turtle populations, the laws surrounding poaching and keeping turtles as pets, as well as being taught what to do in the case of finding entangled marine life. The school was keen to see us return in the future for more marine related lessons and presentations!
|Education at schools is key to preventing the problem in the future!|
Training continued over the next day as well for our staff, and once Martin was all presented out, we headed out to show him our Coral Lines Project nursery, where we planted a line together with Martin in the name of the Olive Ridley Project!
|Myself and Martin with Line 006, which was planted in April|