World Turtle News, 04/11/2019
Meet The Man Helping Save Endangered Turtles In The Maldives
Martin Stelfox, biologist and founder of The Olive Ridley Project, made a discovery in the Maldives that set him on a path to rescue some of the most endangered turtles in the world.
After spending over 15 years working on marine conservation projects all over the globe, in 2012 biologist Martin Stelfox landed himself a job in one of the most idyllic places on earth – the Maldives (no, he couldn’t believe his luck either).
All tropical paradise, baby powder-soft beaches and swaying palm trees? You bet! However, Stelfox quickly noticed how many sea turtles were drifting into the Maldives completely entangled in ghost nets – these are fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen.
“As a biologist I was curious as to why this was happening given the fact that the Maldives do not generally use nets, rather, pole and line dominate the fisheries in the country.” He also noticed that it was the olive ridley turtles that were the species mostly found caught in the nets, which he thought was bizarre given that the species of turtles don’t typically nest in this part of the world.
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Photo from Pro Divers.