This year as we celebrate World Turtle Day, we embark on an unforgettable journey to introduce you to the incredible sea turtles found in and around our island and how best to observe and snorkel with them responsibly. The Maldives, renowned for its rich biodiversity, is home to several species of these captivating creatures.
Let’s dive into the depths and meet some of the amazing turtles you may encounter during your visit to Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives:
Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas): The most common species found around the Maldives, the green sea turtle boasts a captivating olive-green shell, hence its name. They are herbivores and play a vital role in maintaining the health of coral reefs by grazing on seagrass, helping to prevent overgrowth. With their streamlined bodies and powerful flippers, they gracefully navigate the depths of the ocean.
Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata): Sporting a distinctive beak-like snout, hawksbill turtles are truly a sight to behold. These elegant creatures have intricate patterns on their shells, resembling the intricate patterns found on hawks’ wings. They primarily feed on sponges, playing a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of the reef ecosystem.
Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta): Loggerheads are the largest hard-shelled turtles in the world, known for their strong jaws and reddish-brown carapace. These majestic beings roam the ocean, covering vast distances in search of food. Their diet consists mainly of crabs, mollusks, and other marine invertebrates.
Observing Turtles in their Natural Habitat
As ambassadors for our reefs, we stress the importance of observing these turtles in their natural habitat while ensuring their safety and well-being. Here are a few tips from us to make sure you have fun while being respectful and safe as well.
Keep a Respectful Distance: When snorkeling or diving near turtles, maintain a respectful distance of at least three meters. This allows the turtles to go about their daily activities undisturbed and ensures a harmonious coexistence.
Avoid Touching or Chasing: As tempting as it may be to reach out and touch these gentle beings, resist the urge. Touching turtles can cause them distress and disrupt their natural behaviors. Avoid chasing or following them closely, allowing them to swim freely without feeling threatened or scared, as gentle as they are, they are known to bite if threatened.
Snorkel Quietly: When snorkeling with turtles, be mindful of your movements and avoid making excessive noise. Sudden movements and loud noises can startle them, leading to stress and potentially harming their well-being. Instead, embrace the tranquility of the underwater world and let the turtles approach you at their own pace.
Responsible Photography: If you wish to capture a magical moment with a turtle, do so responsibly. Maintain a respectful distance and use underwater photography techniques that minimize disturbance. Remember, it’s essential to prioritize the welfare of these magnificent creatures over getting the perfect shot.
Listen to the Experts: Pay close attention to the safety briefing provided by your guide. They will offer valuable insights on how to approach and interact with turtles, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience while safeguarding the well-being of these incredible creatures.
Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives offers a gateway to a world teeming with vibrant marine life, where the enchanting sea turtles take center stage. By adhering to responsible snorkeling practices and paying close attention to the advice of our colleagues at Dive and Sail, we can marvel at these magnificent creatures while preserving their natural habitat for generations to come. Remember, it’s our collective responsibility to ensure the well-being of sea turtles and the delicate ecosystems they call home. So, while we invite you to dive into the crystal clear waters, embrace the wonders of our beautiful reefs, and embark on an unforgettable journey to snorkel with these amazing creatures, let’s leave only ripples behind as a testament to your adventure.