The Maldives is renowned for its amazing marine life, and Komandoo is no exception, boasting a diverse and abundant population of fish and aquatic animals that make their home around the island. What we are especially proud of is that the island has become a known hotspot for sea turtles. Thanks to the ongoing partnership with the Olive Ridley Project, we have a great insight into our resident turtle community and so far 30 individual hawksbill turtles and 3 green turtles have been identified on Komandoo’s reef.
All turtles have unique scale patterns on their heads, so photos can be compared to images in the national databases to help track movements and population changes across the Maldives and your holiday snaps can help! If you have a photograph, taken in the Maldives, of a sea turtle that is new to our database, or one that is yet to be named, you can choose to adopt this turtle if you wish, and name it too. We need one clear image of each side of the turtle’s face. And of course, we also need to know the time and the location of the sighting.
This research will help us develop and evaluate conservation strategies aimed at saving sea turtles threatened by extinction. Six out of the seven species worldwide are listed as ‘Endangered’ and they need our help.
When encountering sea turtles during your holiday, either by swimming, during the Turtle Tour, snorkelling or scuba diving, it is extremely important to be respectful and not to threaten their natural behaviour in any way, you will have a much more rewarding experience if you keep your distance and allow the turtle to simply do what turtles do – feed, rest and breathe!
Please familiarise yourself with the Olive Ridley Project’s Code of Conduct for how to swim with sea turtles.