Volunteering in Maldives – Marine and Turtle Conservation

Posted by: Yun-Chieh

I had a lot of amazing memories from my two weeks volunteering in Maldives at the Marine and Turtle Conservation project! When I arrived to Naifaru, the entire staff was there waiting for me and other volunteers. I was very happy that there were a lot of English speakers in the group because then I could practice my English.

The program coordinator and the marine biologists gave us presentations about the island and sea turtle efforts. At the beginning of the project we had two days dedicated to an excursion. We went night fishing on a boat in the middle of sea, threw bait in the water and caught a lot of fish. The next day we went to a uninhabited island for snorkeling; the sand was white, the water was clear and the view was stunning. After we got back to volunteer house in the evening, we had a BBQ with the fish we caught on Friday which was really fleshy and delicious.

After two days of excursions, we started to volunteer (to take care of the turtles). Our job was quite simple; the main daily tasks were to pick up fish guts from the fish market, cut and measure turtle food, change their water and remark the number on each of the turtles. These tasks took us about two to three hours per day. Apart from the normal routine, we emptied all the tanks and used betadine to clean them. Aside from this we also measured the turtles’ weight, length and width once a week.

I can still remember how excited I was having the chance to touch a turtle for the first time. They are just so adorable, especially the hatchlings. It was also interesting to see that every turtle had its own characteristics, some were calm and some more energetic.

Coral frame was also a part of the project. On my last day of work, we went to an island near Naifaru to collect fresh and naturally separated coral. We tied the coral to the coral frame then put it into an area where we want to make it into a coral garden. I hope that I will have the chance to see the growth of the coral two years from now!

In the 17 days that I volunteered at this amazing project, I was able to enjoy beautiful views, great people, cool volunteer tasks and so much more! I created so many memories that I will never forget volunteering in Maldives!