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955 entangled turtles reported in the Maldives:
88% olive ridleys
128 injured turtles treated at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre:
77% olive ridleys
65.5% victims of ghost net, plastic, or marine debris entanglement
73 turtles successfully released
4,004+ sea turtles identified
25,456+ sea turtle sightings documented
The Olive Ridley Project (ORP) is on a mission to protect sea turtles and their habitats through rescue and rehabilitation, education and outreach, and scientific research. At the core of our work is a passionate and dedicated team of scientists, conservationists, citizen scientists and volunteers. We pride ourselves in being able to collaborate with a wide range of diverse groups in order to reach our goal and fill data gaps in sea turtle conservation.
The Olive Ridley Project (ORP), Registered Charity No 1165905 in England & Wales, was founded by Dr Martin Stelfox in 2013. Working as a biologist in the Maldives, he encountered a countless number of olive ridley sea turtles entangled in abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing nets – also known as ghost nets. Martin was curious to understand why this was happening and where the nets – and the turtles – were coming from. He enlisted the help of other biologists and citizen scientists to find answers – and ORP was formed. ORP has since expanded its mission to take a multifaceted and holistic approach to protecting sea turtles and their habitats. We have also expanded into several countries in the Indian Ocean region and have bases in Oman, Kenya and Pakistan, as well as in the Maldives.
ORP opened the first veterinarian run marine turtle rescue centre in the Maldives in 2017. This was followed by a second rehabilitation centre in 2019. The rescue centre is fully equipped with laboratory, x-ray and surgical facilities, and is managed by full-time resident veterinary surgeon.