Five turtles discovered upturned at uninhabited island in Laamu Atoll rescued

Five turtles found upturned at an uninhabited island in Laamu Atoll. (Photo/Olive Ridley Project)

Five green sea turtles discovered upturned at the uninhabited island, Athahendha, located south of L. Kunahandhoo, have been rescued.

The turtles were rescued through a collaborative effort of Maldives Police Service, the marine biology team at Six Senses Laamu Resort, Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI), and the non-profit organization focused on rescuing turtles, Olive Ridley Project.

Olive Ridley Project, in a blog post, said that the five turtles were discovered by a group of tourists who went on a picnic to the uninhabited island. Citing the tourists, the non-profit organization detailed that the turtles were found a little distance from the beach, hidden within palm trees.

They also stressed that at the time of discovery, the turtles were immobilized and unnaturally rolled over on their backs. Moreover, all the turtles had minor injuries – fish hook wounds to their neck, minor scrapes on their shell, and swelling of an eye.

The turtles were released back to the sea in a successful rescue operation carried out last Sunday.

Capturing and harming turtles and tortoises is an offense under the Environment Protection Act.

Individuals caught harming a turtle or a tortoise will receive a fine of MVR 20,000. Should an individual be caught harming more than one turtle or tortoise, they will receive a fine of MVR 25,000 per each additional turtle or tortoise.