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Olive Ridley Project’s Marine Biologist Neus Segura Joins Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi
Since Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi opened its doors in April 2018, we have been aiming to encourage a new generation of eco-conscious travellers to visit the resort and inspire them to participate in our sustainability initiatives. We have launched a series of pioneering projects to support this cause, and one of the most notable initiatives is forging a partnership with the Olive Ridley Project (ORP).
Currently, six of the seven sea turtle species fall under IUCN’s category of being at risk of extinction, and a growing number of threats have challenged their existence. As a response, this non-governmental organization has dedicated itself to protecting local sea turtles and their habitats by taking a multifaceted and holistic approach to conservation. Their activities include rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, as well as education and outreach, all aimed at preserving these precious sea turtles. They enlisted a passionate and dedicated team of scientists, veterinarians, conservationists, citizen scientists, and volunteers to work hand-in-hand to reach their goal. Additionally, they collaborate with a wide range of diverse groups, including resorts, to fill data gaps in sea turtle conservation by collecting data on sea turtles throughout the Maldives.
This 2023, as part of our ever-growing masterplan to reach our vision and further strengthen the collaboration between Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi and ORP, we welcome Neus Segura to the team as the resort’s new marine biologist. As part of the team overseen by Sustainability Manager Sam Dixon, she will take on significant responsibilities in the resort, such as identifying endangered species in the atoll, like the Hawksbill and Green Sea turtles, monitoring sea turtle nesting activity, educating guests and staff on sea turtle biology, and sharing with them the threats the species currently face. She will also be doing weekly Marine Life Presentations, where she will tackle various subject matters such as turtles, manta rays, and other marine species.
At the young age of 16, Neus started volunteering at a local sea turtle rescue center in her hometown in Mallorca, Spain. This ignited her interest in the conservation of these precious endangered species, and so she studied Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth, UK. In the past years, she has had multiple volunteering and research roles in centres across the world, most recently as a principal investigator on board the research vessel Totevaag from Alnitak Research Institute, where she educated volunteers on different topics and performed sea turtle rescues at sea. Neus’ addition to the team will open more opportunities to preserve the pristine nature of our marine surroundings.
As guests of Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi, curious explorers and eco-conscious travellers of all ages will have the opportunity to join the Marine Biology team in various ocean life conservation activities within the resort. Some programmes you can take part in are as follows:
- Turtle Ranger Programme: Meet Phoebe, Anika, and Kiba, our famous Hawksbill turtles, along with other sea creatures. Help the Olive Ridley Project by collecting ID data for research and even get the chance to move the sea turtle eggs to safety and release hatchlings into the ocean.
- Snorkelling Tours of the Coralarium: The team will guide you in exploring the world’s first semi-submerged art gallery and the Maldives’ first coral restoration project in the form of an art installation that homes over 100 species of fish.
- Coral Planting: Build a better home for our aquatic friends within the resort’s 9 km-long house reef and go back in years to see how it flourished.
- Workshops in the Sustainability Lab: Turn plastic wastes and ghost nets into memorable bespoke souvenirs for you to take home, as well as various useful products to be donated to local schools and communities.
With the help of such purposeful activities, just like Neus when she was little, may we continue to inspire a new breed of travellers of all ages to be lifelong advocates of the ocean and the environment. Hopefully, through continued partnerships with organizations such as the Olive Ridley Foundation and everyone else’s relentless passion and initiative, we can be a step closer to a sustainable future.
To learn more about our eco-inspired initiatives here at Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi, please visit our Sustainability Page.
Image credit: @ocean_child_mv