Protection of Marine Life at Coco Bodu Hithi
The Coco Collection and the Olive Ridley Project
After I had inspected last week Gili Lankanfushi, I landed now on Coco Bodu Hithi. Another paradise: white sandy beaches, turquoise water, surrounded by lush, nearly untouched nature. My Island Villa does have direct access to the sea, so ideal for snorkeling. But before, I will meet marine biologist Lisa from Austria. She is responsible for the marine life and the protection of the sea turtles. The Coco Collection is the exclusive partner of the Olive Ridley project on the Maldives. The project’s dedicated work aims to protect endangered species and to conserve sea turtles by actively fighting ghost nets in the region.
Net fishing is prohibited on the Maldives, the nets are being washed up from other regions such as Thailand or the Philippines. When guests go snorkeling or diving, they are encouraged to collect spotted nets and hand them over to the marine biology centre, where they are registered. Often times, it is possible to track from which country they origin.
The project furthermore includes the setup of a rescue Center at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu for injured sea turtles that will be treated and cared for until they are recovered.
During a snorkelling trip at the house reef, I discover all the various fish and especially Chloe – the house turtle. The marine life is incredible and hard to describe in all its beauty. Chloe did not feel disturbed by my presence, she is totally relaxed. What a graceful animal!
Only one of 1,000 turtles reaches adultery, before being eaten by predators such as sharks, crabs, birds. Therefore, at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, when it is time for the turtles to hatch, the hatchlings are protected by being brought to the beach and ran into the water. This is important for their imprint, as turtles remember the beach they were born at and come back after 20 years to nest here.
Happiness at Water Residence
My water residence villa at Coco Bodu Hithi is a stunning experience – total privacy and luxury. The villa faces the sunset and offers an immediate access to the house reef with its fascinating underwater world. Yes, this is luxury but it also supports the environment of the island and I feel giving something back. Because without Lisa and other committed employees, the protection of species, how it is practiced here, would not exist this way.