Once a year the good people from Save the Beach organise a two-day event on the tropical island of Villingili. The One Nation Coral Revival event is an opportunity for Maldivian artists, conservationists, marine researchers and nature lovers to get together and discuss the Maldivian environment and talk about ways to improve it.
Olive Ridley Project (ORP) volunteers Jesse Carrizzo and Imaha Mohamed (Kaia), together with the help of our resort partners, Coco Collection, were on hand to discuss the problem of ghost gear in the Maldives. Jesse gave two presentations on both days explaining how ghost nets can trap and kill marine wildlife, and highlighted how marine turtles are particularly at risk of entanglement. When Jesse explained the problem of ghost gear to the Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Adeeb, he was extremely surprised to hear the dangers they pose in the Maldivian environment and was excited to hear the work we have been doing.
ORPs stall had a lot of attention during the two day event. A large Olive Ridley Sea Turtle made entirely out of recycled materials (found in the streets of Villingili) was the first thing you could see when you approached our tent. Its main body was made from plastic bottles representing the problem of turtles eating plastic. Its flippers and shell were wrapped in ghost gear sending out a powerful message on what happens to turtles that are unlucky enough to encounter ghost nets.
Left: Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Adeeb, Centre: Kaia, Right: Jesse outside the ORP stand
ORP Volunteer Jesse gives a presentation to local Maldivian’s on the effects of ghost gear to the marine environment.
Volunteer Kaia outside the ORP event stand talking about ghost gear.
ORP Stand front view
ORPs recycled turtle sculpture made from 100% recycled materials.
Making the shell of the turtle out of scrap metal chicken wire
Filling the main body of the turtle with bottles found in the streets of Villingili
Preparing the head of the turtle made possible by using an old coconut
Group picture of Kaia with the Damage Control team working hard on the Olive Ridley Project turtle sculpture
The recycled turtle and the ghost nets were then linked to form an entangled turtle.
Final turtle sculpture displayed at the ORP stall
This was ORPs first recycling project made possible by our friends over at Damage Control. This sculpture is a great example of how recycled garbage can be used to create art. A strong message was betrayed through the art and it was a great opportunity to bring communities together to show their creative side.
We would like to give a special mention to the Damage Control team. This small team of volunteers strive to keep the Maldives clean. They work on keeping swimming zones around Male free from garbage and we were very excited to work with this highly diverse and skilled group of people. Find out a little more about each team member below. We are excited to work with this team in future recycling projects.
NAME: Adam Shaneez BIO: ” Is a Civil and Structural Engineer currently Working at the Ministry of housing, transport and Environment as Project officer trainee in 2008. Worked MT Hojgarrd as a Student Engineer in 2013. My future goal is to introduce and promote sustainable engineering in Maldives and create public awareness about waste and try to implement a sustainable waste management system”
NAME: Adam D Shifaz. BIO: “I am a Software Engineer currently working at Maldives Pension Administration Office. At the moment, I’m working as a Mobile Application developer, but my real interests lie in IT research. I am mostly interested in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Bionics. My current research area is a Machine Learning Technique called Weighted Support Vector Machines. Always interested in discussing science, technology and philosophy with others.”
NAME: Ihsaan abdul Muhsin. BIO: “Love to explore and enjoy what nature has in show for us and spend time with the colourful marine life all around Maldives. My aim is to work harder to spread awareness and see a world where everyone single person would know that, the candy wrapper they put in their pocket instead of throwing away, mattered.
NAME: Ibrahim Dhaanish Nashid BIO: “Trained cbt facilitator, diver, marine biologist in training. Founded Damage Control in 2013. Worked with Manta Trust and the Marine centre at landaa as well.”
NAME: Imaha Mohamed (Kaia) BIO: Coordinator at Maldives Seafood Exportation and Prepossessing Association. Currently studying Marine Science. I am a volunteer at many different NGOs including Damage Control, Ocean Warriors Club, Olive Ridley Project, and Save the Beach Maldives. My goal is to help protect and conserve the world’s oceans.”
NAME: Hassaan Abdul Muhsin. BIO: “Did my B-Se in Zoology, Biotechnology and Chemistry. Worked as an environment analyst in Seamarc Went back to school to finish my Honers in Education in the form of a B-Ed .. came back, now a teacher in Majeediyya School. Aim is to educate as many people as i can, about nature and its delicate balances..and how much we influence it”
NAME: Ahmed zayn Mohamed nabeel. BIO: “A driven youngster full of energy who helps out the society in every way he can. Started volunteering in various different NGOs from an early age, he dedicated most of his time to those in need. I want a nation and a population that’s dedicated to teamwork and selflessness. Work hard for others and built a community which holds others thoughts above their own. Loyalty and dedication to one another is what I want to see most.”
NAME: Maleeha Ibrahim BIO: “I am an ocean enthusiast and enjoy spending my spare time volunteering in NGO’s that work towards environmental conservation. My goal is to innovate sustainable solutions to issues in our built environment. Also to educate young people about these issues and encourage them to work towards a greener future.”