The Olive Ridley Project’s senior project scientist, Dr Jillian Hudgins, recently made a quick trip to the Maldives to carry out workshops and training sessions. She also found time for two local school visits to talk about threats to the marine environment, including ghost nets, and what the local islanders can do to minimize their impact on turtles and other vulnerable marine animals.
Kihaadhoo Island School in Baa Atoll
The Olive Ridley Project, along with Amilla Fushi marine biologist Lauren Arthur and her assistant Mohamed Rai, held an interactive workshop with around 25 children from grades 7-10 on the 29th April 2015 at the Kihaado Island School in Baa Atoll.
The aim of the school visit was to teach the school children what to do when they find an entangled turtle. Many of the children reported having seen ghost nets wash up on beaches or on the sea surface whilst out on a boat.
The majority of Kihaadhoo islanders are employed either in fisheries or work at a nearby resort.
Himendhoo School in Ari Atoll
The Olive Ridley Project was joined by Constance Moofushi marine biologist Licia Farano and other staff from the resort during a visit to Himendhoo School in Ari Atoll on the 6th May 2015.
Around 60 children and 25 teachers and parents attended the educational presentation, learning about the importance of the marine ecosystem around their island, as well as what they can do to protect sea turtles and other endangered marine creatures.
The school children were excited to know more and had many questions for the marine biologists. Recently, a group of the school children was invited to try SCUBA diving at Constance Moofushi. There may be a few budding biologists in the group!
The session finished with an interactive food web game where the children learned how plastic and marine debris make their way up the food chain from plankton, to herbivores, to carnivores, and finally to our plates. They were encouraged to be more responsible with their waste and to make sure that nothing ends up in the water or on their beaches.