Marine Turtle Rescue Centre

Maldives hues of blues sea and sky

Discover the beautiful Maldives by volunteering with sea turtles at the
Olive Ridley Project Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in Baa Atoll

 

Love sea turtles? Always dreamt of visiting the paradise that is Maldives?
Here is your chance to make your dream come true and work hands on with these magnificent creatures!

Close up of turtle patient at ORP Marine Turtle Rescue Centre

Join us for 2, 3 or 4 weeks of volunteering with sea turtles at the ORP Marine Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Resort in Baa Atoll. We promise you an unforgettable experience! You will help our veterinarian care for the turtle patients at the rescue centre, learn lots about  sea turtles, marine conservation and marine life  in general, and make many new friends – humans as well as reptiles. All this whilst staying on the tropical island of Dhuni Kolhu and exploring the stunning land- and seacapes of Maldives.

Volunteering with sea turtles and the ORP in the Maldives is open to anybody who would like to experience sea turtle conservation first hand. However, we do ask that volunteers are 18+, able swimmers and have a passion for sea turtles. This volunteering program ideally suits those wanting to learn more about sea turtle medicine and first aid, and experience what it takes to work with these charismatic animals in the wild. We can accommodate 2 volunteers at the time and the work will be very hands on. To cover the expenses for you stay, we ask for a very reasonable donation to the Olive Ridley Project.

 

Maldives and Baa Atoll

Aerial shot of Maldives atolls

The Republic of Maldives is a nation of coral islands situated in the Indian Ocean. The country spans roughly 90,000 square kilometers divided into twenty-six atolls with approximately 1190 islands. It is the smallest Asian country by both land area and population (with just fewer than 400,000 people!). Maldives is famous for its sandy white beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs and colorful marine life, and is truly magical, both over and under water.

Beach and water villas Coco Plam Dhuni Kolhu MaldivesThe Marine Turtle Rescue Center is situated on Dhuni Kolhu island in Baa Atoll,  a 30 minute sea plane ride north of Male, the capital of the Maldives. Baa Atoll consists of 75 islands, only 13 of which are inhabited. 13 additional islands are operated as island resorts. Baa atoll is rich in biodiversity with plenty of sea turtles, manta rays, hard and soft coral, and a huge variety of reef fish species.

 

Why volunteer with sea turtles?

3 turtles trapped in a ghost netSea turtles face many threats to their survival and as a result, six of the seven species of sea turtles are classified as threatened with extinction by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). One species, the Flatback, is not listed due to insufficient data. Five types of sea turtles can be found in the Indian Ocean.

In the last three years, over 300 sea turtles have been reported entangled in ghost gear (abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear) in the Maldives. The majority of these entangled turtles were Olive Ridley; however, Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles were also reported.

The Marine Turtle Rescue Centre provides medical treatment to sea turtles found ensnared and injured across the Maldives. As part of our team you will work with a veterinarian and a full time intern. You will help rescue and treat injured sea turtles, with the aim to return as many turtles as possible back to the wild.

Why volunteer with the Olive Ridley Project?

The Olive Ridley Project (UK registered charity No. 1165905) was established in 2013 to actively fight ghost nets in the Indian Ocean. We physically remove ghost nets, promote recycling of end-of-life fishing nets, offer marine and turtle conservation education programs, carry out research, and provide appropriate care, protection, treatment and security for turtles found entangled and injured. You can read more about the Olive Ridley Project here.

Olive Ridley Project Marine Turtle Rescue Centre Maldives

Click on the image to take a tour of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre and see the turtle patients being fed (a new window will open)

The Marine Turtle Rescue Centre opened in February 2017.  It is a unique centre in the Maldives as we employ a full-time veterinarian! Through internship placements we also work with Maldivian nationals, who assist our vet in the daily operations at the centre. Volunteers are essential in the everyday running of our rescue centre, and we would therefore very much like to welcome you to our team. It is your contribution that enables our staff to continue to provide medical care for these threatened animals.

 

What does volunteering with sea turtles and ORP involve?

Injured Olive Ridley Turtle being fed at ORP Marine Rescue Centre
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As a volunteer you will assist staff with all aspects of turtle rescue and rehabilitation, including treating wounds, helping with routine medical exams, observing surgeries, diet preparation, and feeding. Take a tour of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre with our vet.

In addition, volunteers will be helping with data collection during field trips to local reefs and neighbouring islands. This may include taking turtle photos for the Photo-ID program, measuring foraging turtles, and recording sightings information and ghost net measurements.

Volunteers might also be asked to contribute to our blog  and social media channels, assist with educational tours of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre for resort guests, education outreach, and night time patrols for nesting turtles and potential nest relocation.

 

How much does it cost to volunteer with ORP?

In order to sustain the running of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, we ask for a donation to cover your expenses for volunteering with sea turtles and help fund the operation of the rescue centre:

2 Weeks: $1235 per person
3 Weeks: $1835 per person
4 Weeks: $2035 per person

Your donation will cover:

  • Return domestic flights from Male to the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre (The rescue centre is situated in Baa atoll, therefore a flight is necessary to get to there. The views are incredible so have your camera ready!)
  • Accommodation for the duration of your stay at Dhuni Kolhu
  • All meals for the duration of your stay at Dhuni Kolhu
  • ORP t-shirt (1 per person)

In addition to covering your costs, your donation will help us fund internships aimed at Maldivian nationals; fuel costs for transporting injured sea turtles to the rescue centre from all over Maldives; and operational costs of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre.

Please note that your donation does not include:

  • International flights to and from Male
  • Accommodation in Male, should you require.

 

Ready for an experience of a life time, volunteering with sea turtles in the Maldives?

 

Download the ORP Volunteer Information Pack

Download the ORP Volunteer Information Pack

Here is what you need to do:

Download the ORP Volunteer Information Pack to find out all you need to know about the ORP Volunteering Program.

Email volunteer@oliveridleyproject.org if you have any further questions.

Check available dates for your chance to be volunteering with sea turtles in the Maldives in the calendar below.

Complete the ORP Volunteer Program Application form here.

 

Available dates for volunteering with sea turtles and ORP in the Maldives 2017

 

ProgramStatusDuration -
Weeks
Duration -
Nights
Arrival
Date
Departure
Date
Donation
Group 1 2017Fully Booked2 Weeks13 Nights4th June 201717th June 2017$1235
Group 1 2017fully Booked2 Weeks13 Nights18th June 201730th June 2017$1235
Group 1 2017Fully Booked3 Weeks20 Nights4th June 201724th June 2017$1835
Group 1 2017Fully Booked4 Weeks27 Nights4th June 201730th June 2017$2035
Group 2 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights2nd July 201715th July 2017$1235
Group 2 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights16th July 201729th July 2017$1235
Group 2 20172 Places Available3 Weeks20 Nights2nd July 201722nd July 2017$1835
Group 2 20172 Places Available4 Weeks27 Nights2nd July 201729th July 2017$2035
Group 3 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights30th July 201712th August 2017$1235
Group 3 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights13th August 201726th August 2017$1235
Group 3 20172 Places Available3 Weeks20 Nights30th July 201719th August 2017$1835
Group 3 20172 Places Available4 Weeks27 Nights30th July 201726th August 2017$2035
Group 4 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights27th August 20179th September 2017$1235
Group 4 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights10th September 201723rd September 2017$1235
Group 4 20172 Places Available3 Weeks20 Nights27th August 201716th September 2017$1835
Group 4 20172 Places Available4 Weeks27 Nights27th August 201723rd September 2017$2035
Group 5 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights24th September 20177th October 2017$1235
Group 5 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights8th October 201721st October 2017$1235
Group 5 20172 Places Available3 Weeks20 Nights24th September 201714th October 2017$1835
Group 5 20172 Places Available4 Weeks27 Nights24th September 201721st October 2017$2035
Group 6 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights22nd October 20174th November 2017$1235
Group 6 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights5th November 201718th November 2017$1235
Group 6 20172 Places Available3 Weeks20 Nights22nd October 201711th November 2017$1835
Group 6 20172 Places Available4 Weeks27 Nights22nd October 201718th November 2017$2035
Group 7 20171 Place Left2 Weeks13 Nights19th November 20172nd December 2017$1235
Group 7 20171 Place Left2 Weeks13 Nights3rd December 201716th December 2017$1235
Group 7 20171 Place Left3 Weeks20 Nights19th November 20179th December 2017$1835
Group 7 20171 Place Left4 Weeks27 Nights19th November 201716th December 2017$2035
Group 8 20172 Places Available2 Weeks13 Nights17th December 201730th December 2017$1235

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