Hi everyone. I’m Beth, Seamarc’s intern at the Four Seasons Marine Discovery Centre, Kuda Huraa. During my three month work placement, I have been fully immersing myself in the life of a resort marine biologist, and taking part in all the island projects.
My third and final month with the Marine Savers team has brought lots of excitement!
Since my last update we have had two new green hatchlings admitted into the Head Start programme. These hatchlings were going to be kept as pets but were rescued by marine biologists at Maalifushi (Thaa Atoll) and sent to us here. These hatchlings have adjusted to their new home well and are currently enjoying each other’s company in a shared tank.
As well as these two hatchlings we have also had another Olive Ridley turtle admitted into rehabilitation after being caught in a fishing line. Naseeb (meaning ‘lucky’ in the local Dhivehi language) was in a bad way when he arrived at Kuda Huraa. The flesh on his front left flipper was dying off, and the bones of the flipper were visible. Emergency surgery was performed on Naseeb to remove this flipper. The surgery went smoothly and he is now in one of our pools recovering. In order to keep the wound clean we wanted to cover it with bandages, Naseeb however had a different idea and kept removing his bandages! In order to overcome this problem and keep the wound covered we have made a makeshift jacket for him out of an old wetsuit and it seems to be doing the job well!
Not only have we had turtles arriving to the island, we have also released two Green turtles that were part of our head start programme. The first turtle to be released was named Esme and was released on 15 March, and the second turtle, Wang (meaning ‘Ocean’ in Chinese), was released on 18 March. Both turtles had reached the required release size of 30cm which gives them a higher chance of survival in the wild than at the size they are when they first hatch. Makunadhoo Reef (N.Malé Atoll) was the site for both releases, and both turtles swam off with no problems at all. Esme and Wang were both tagged before their release and can be tracked on the turtle tracking page of the website.
Alongside the care of the turtles here at the facility, I have been leading guest excursions. During one of these trips, we recently spotted Short-fin Pilot Whales, which swam alongside the bow of the boat for over an hour – an amazing experience to see these wonderful animals up close. I have also taken part in a few diving trips with guests to take pictures for the turtle monitoring project as well as general marine life sightings. During my dives I have seen many marine organisms such as Hawksbill Turtles, Eagle Rays, Napoleon Wrasse and Whitetip Reef Sharks.
All of the experiences I have had during my time as an intern here have allowed me to make many new friends and gain knowledge and memories that will never be forgotten. Thank you to everyone at SEAMARC and Four Seasons Kuda Huraa for making my time here so enjoyable! I hope to return to the Maldives sometime in the future, to expand my marine knowledge, and help with conservation efforts to maintain the incredible beauty both above and beneath the waves.
The Seamarc team were excellent teachers (thank you!) and everyone was very patient so I learnt very quickly.
I will always be eternally grateful for this opportunity ... A very sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone’s encouragement, hard work and dedication. My short time here has allowed me to learn so many things that otherwise might not have been possible.
The memories I have forged here will always have a special place in my heart ♡ … what a wonderful country!
Janice (Singapore) 2017
From literally stepping out of the airport and onto the resort speedboat, I was completely blown away by how amazing the Maldives is; hot sun, blue skies, and crystal-clear waters … paradise!
In my first week, I spent a lot of time learning about and working with the resident sea turtles ... Caring for these turtles has been great fun and each one has its own personality.
... we were lucky to encounter a large pod of false killer whales, which was an incredible experience!
The teams at both resorts are a fantastic group of people and I enjoyed every moment working with them all.
Mark (UK) 2016
The first week was a busy one as three new rehab turtles turned up in three consecutive days. I have also been busy with guest snorkel trips, dolphin cruises, scientific projects, coral reef monitoring and surfing world class waves at the local breaks!
I have been here for the last five wonderful weeks ... such great fun and every day is so varied ... to learn all I can about the amazing marine life in the Maldives.
Adam (UK) 2016
Each morning I caught the local 8:15 ferry boat … much better than the bus in Germany!
One day we went to a nearby uninhabited agricultural island, to collect some turtle hatchlings and release them out in the open water. Another great experience was the manta boat-trip ... for one whole day we searched for mantas in different sites around Baa Atoll.
All in all I can say that my 6 weeks’ volunteering ... was a great experience, I met a lot of nice and very friendly people and I learned a lot about turtles, fish species and corals in the beautiful tropical waters around the Maldives.
Nicole (Germany) 2016
The Marine Savers team is great fun to work with, and I couldn’t have asked for a better location to gain some experience in environmental conservation.
It was wonderful to be around so many people who share my passion for the underwater world, and I hope it’s not too long before I’m back beneath the waves in the Maldives!
Dhiya (Sri Lanka) 2016
Every day was a different adventure, with turtles to treat, corals to transplant, talks to give and dolphins to spot. It is always a thrill to (see) the juvenile Spinner dolphins, who stick very close to their mothers but are often the most acrobatic jumpers, putting the ‘spin’ in Spinner. Sometimes we were lucky to spot manta rays too.
I am very grateful to the Marine Savers team ... It has strengthened my desire to work in marine conservation and I hope to be back in the Maldives one day!
Roz (UK) 2016
You can see some breathtaking marine life here in the Maldives, and every time I’m in the water I feel constantly in awe of my surroundings ... 2 mantas at a cleaning station swam through our dive group, getting extremely close!
These activities, along with the people I have met along the way have ... made the experience so enjoyable and memorable.
Emily (UK) 2016
I had never seen a turtle this large before, which was a whole new experience for me in itself ... It took 6 people to get this amazing turtle out of the water and into the boat.
I have even started leading some of the snorkel safaris around nearby reefs, an incredibly rewarding experience to be sharing information and experiences with people. My favourite moments have often been on our dolphin cruises, the incredible spinner dolphins never cease to amaze me as they throw their bodies high above the water surface. That is certainly a sight I will never get tired of!
Sophie (UK) 2015
Taking time off work to travel all the way to the Maldives to care for sea turtles might seem a crazy idea to some; for me, however, it was the chance of a lifetime. This was the perfect opportunity to leave my office desk in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong and take part in something meaningful in a unique part of the world.
I have had a tremendous time, and have made friends with a lot of lovely people from around the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would definitely like to come back some day to visit everyone… and the sea turtles too, of course!
Keith (Hong Kong) 2015
Winy and Hazel had a very busy and enjoyable time, working with our turtle care patients and the Reefscapers coral propagation programme.
They also helped with an important reef clean-up, and had a memorable day releasing baby turtle hatchlings into the ocean.
Winy & Hazel (Hong Kong) 2015
Every day since I have arrived has been an adventure!
I am witnessing new and amazing things every day, from sunsets to 'Spanish Dancers' ! It’s a wonderful experience as we share underwater marine life encounters, and I have actually lost count of how many sharks, dolphins and turtles I’ve encountered since I arrived ... and it’s magical every time.
Cath (UK) 2015
The care and rehabilitation of the turtles here is very satisfying work.
In just a short few weeks, I have seen Spinner Dolphins, Hawksbill Turtles, Black Tip Reef Sharks and of course lots of colourful and varied marine life ... a wonderful moment each time!
Mailis (Belgium) 2015
A very enjoyable part of my job is spreading awareness to the public, to promote better understanding and appreciation for the marine ecosystem. We recently organised a school excursion ... seeing these enthusiastic children learning about the environment brings me joy and hope.
My time here has been an amazing experience ... more than just swimming with the fishes and being surrounded by beautiful reefs!
Adrelia (Singapore) 2014
Frédéric was a PhD student and lecturer at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, specialising in ecology and tropical marine biology.
During his time with us, Frédéric researched indigenous Echinoderms, and possibly discovered a previously undocumented new species of sea cucumber.
Frédéric (France) 2014
Glen worked with us in 2014, developing a shark population survey to study local populations of Blacktip Reef sharks using a variety of survey methods including underwater camera traps, and snorkel surveys.
Glen (UK) 2014
One of our first interns, Dylan (from Singapore's Temasek Polytechnic) had an amazingly unique experience with us.
Firstly, he helped with the rescue of a stranded false killer whale 'Haita' (although she sadly did not survive rehabilitation).
And then he was invited to the “Marine Mammal Stranding Symposium” (February 2013), to present our work and findings to fellow marine biologists.
Dylan (Singapore) 2012