With placement of the 100th Hawksbill turtle on the resort’s marine database
LAAMU, Maldives – May 23, 2017 – In July 2016 the Resident Marine Biologists at Six Senses Laamu implemented a new code of conduct on how to sustainably snorkel and dive with turtles, ensuring that every encounter is a positive interaction and that it does not affect the natural behavior and movements of the turtle. With this in mind, they began compiling a database of turtle sightings from the dive and snorkel sites around the Laamu atoll, via a simple photographic identification process.
Today, on World Turtle Day, Six Senses Laamu celebrates the identification of 100 different Hawksbill turtles on the atoll’s reefs.
This identification process allows the Marine team to closely monitor the population of both Green and Hawksbill turtles in the surrounding waters. Due to key members of the team being both dive and photography enthusiasts there are available sighting records dating back as far as 2013. Of the 800+ total sightings, only 240 are of Hawksbills. The most re-sighted Hawksbill is Mia with 20 sightings.
Hawksbill turtles are located worldwide and are easily distinguished from other sea turtles by their sharp curving beak and serrated edge to the rear of their shell. Like all sea turtles they spend the first 20 or so years of their life in the open ocean feeding predominantly on jellyfish. Therefore when they come to live in coral reef habitats they change their diet, and start feeding on sponges, algae, coral, and small crustaceans instead.
Hawksbill turtles are listed as Critically Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This is partly due to their shell being used for thousands of years for decoration purposes, but in the 1900s their population was estimated to drop by 80 percent. As air breathing reptiles turtles are at great risk of drowning in fishing gear. In addition to this, with jellyfish as their main food source in the open ocean, plastic pollution is a major problem. In the present day they are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) but much is still needed to conserve populations.
Six Senses Laamu aims to increase awareness of turtles and conservation measures to protect them and the habitats in which they live. Hawksbill turtles play a key role in the coral reef ecosystem. There are few animals that eat the fast-growing sponges due to the toxins in their tissue; therefore they allow coral and other species to colonize and grow in the gaps they create. This maintains diversity throughout the reef ecosystem.
Guests diving or snorkeling on the surrounding reefs are encouraged to take photos of turtles they come across and if they find a newly spotted turtle, they may get a chance to give it a name.
About Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a beautiful coral house reef. Most of the villas and facilities are built overwater, however beach villas and on-land dining is an option. All villas offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, with an amazing view to the Ocean and Maldivian nature.
Six Senses Laamu offers a wide range of dining options, with cuisines from around the world, an ice cream parlor, an overwater wine cellar and a signature Chill bar. Many activities, excursions and options are available for everyone to enjoy, both over water and underwater, in addition to the Six Senses Spa.
About Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas operates 11 resorts and 31 spas in 20 countries under the brand names Six Senses, Evason and Six Senses Spas.
Six Senses operates resorts in far-flung locations of incredible natural beauty known for their distinctive and diverse design personalities. Each of the nine properties is supported by a leadership commitment to community, sustainability, wellness and design. Six Senses hotels which share the same vision and values found at their award-winning resorts will premiere in the group’s first urban location, New York City, in 2019.
Six Senses Spas offers a wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation and beauty treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists. Six Senses Spas are located in all Six Senses and Evason resorts; 18 additional standalone spas are located in prestigious hotels and resorts as well as the premier class lounges of two major airports.
Evason introduces a collection of two unique resorts that follow the Six Senses philosophy of uncompromised responsibility to sustainability and to the community. Family friendly, these properties also provide a strong value focus while offering a vast array of guest services and personal attention.