Olive Ridley project: Actively fighting ghost nets in the Indian Ocean

The Olive Ridley Project was initiated in response to large numbers of olive ridleys turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) found entangled in fishing nets in the Maldives. This species of sea turtle is rarely observed in the Maldives; however, since 2011 marine biologists, dive masters and boat captains have recorded 47 olive ridleys entangled in fishing nets. The recorded entanglements have occurred through chance encounters suggesting the data only reflects a small proportion of the actual number of ghost net entrapments of olive ridleys in this region. Since the inception of the Olive Ridley Project in July 2013 a further 20 olive ridleys have been found. Often turtles spend extended periods of time entangled in nets and their condition quickly deteriorates.