Born and raised by the sea – in the island nation of Maldives, Risha was always drawn to the marine environment and its wonders. She started observing threats faced by our oceans at a very young age and wanted to play her part in bringing a positive change. Therefore, she completed her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management from the Maldives National University. She is hoping to complete her master’s degree within the next couple of years.
Risha started off her career as a research intern at the Blue Marine Foundation in collaboration with Six Senses Laamu and Maldives Marine Institute. The work involved data collection to determine the size limits for grouper fisheries of the Maldives.
Additionally, Risha worked as a marine lab assistant at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, where she had the opportunity to interact with guests and educate them on the importance of coral reef ecosystems and other crucial marine habitats.
Recently, Risha worked with IUCN as a ranger in South Ari Marine Protected Area for a period of 8 months (She is the first female ranger of the Maldives!) to educate the locals, fishermen, guesthouse operators and other stakeholders on the importance of conserving whale sharks.
Risha joined the Olive Ridley Project to do something about her love for turtles. As the Volunteer Coordinator in Maldives, she is responsible for management of the Marine Turtle Rescue Center Volunteer Program. She also contributes to education and outreach initiatives.