Our species has had and continues to have devastating effects on the planet and its creatures. A biodiversity report finds that about 1 million animal and plant species are under threat of extinction because of humans. It’s a staggering number to wrap one’s head around.
Sea turtles have existed for millions of years, since the time of the dinosaurs. But sadly, nearly all 7 species of sea turtle are now endangered - with 3 species classified as critically endangered due to poaching, overexploitation, climate change, habitat destruction, and accidental capture in fishing gear.
Sea turtles are haunted by our ghost nets - trapping and entangling them causing injuries and preventing them from going up the surface for air. If you’re not familiar with ghost nets, they are fishing nets that have been lost or abandoned in the ocean. These ghost nets trap not just sea turtles but everything in their path including dolphins, sharks, birds, seals, and many more.
In 2018, Eve, an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, was rescued in South Male Atoll by the Olive Ridley Project. Eve had lost her back flipper and suffered from a severely damaged front right flipper, 2 broken bones, and deep cuts. Eve underwent surgery to repair the damaged front right flipper and received physiotherapy daily. After 2 years of care, Eve was ready to freely swim the beautiful wide ocean again. Witness Eve’s wonderful journey to recovery.
Eve is just one of the thousands of marine animals trapped and entangled in ghost nets. Not only are ghost nets a major threat to marine life, but they are also one of the main sources of pollution in our oceans. In fact, ghost nets and discarded fishing gear are among the top contributors to the ocean plastic crisis worldwide. Most fishing nets are made from nylon or plastic compounds. Over time, these break down into smaller pieces of plastics or micro plastics which many marine animals and birds mistake for food. These micro plastics harm the animal’s body and cause fatal damage to their internal organs. The coral reefs are also harmed by ghost nets - they break corals leaving them exposed to diseases and can even block sunlight which is required by the reefs.
The Olive Ridley Project
Meet the Olive Ridley Project, founded by biologist Martin Stelfox. Martin was interested in better understanding why there was a rising number of olive ridley sea turtles entangled in ghost nets in the Maldives and pinpointing the source of where these ghost nets come from. Since it started in 2013, volunteers of the Olive Ridley Project have removed more than 5 tons of ghost nets and helped rescue hundreds of trapped turtles.
Meet the Sea Turtle Legend Bracelet
Ghost nets are without a doubt among the greatest threats in our oceans. Every single year, the amount of fishing nets that get lost and dumped into the sea can be measured in hundreds of kilometers. Since ghost nets are made from plastic, they can last for decades or even centuries. Thousands of sea turtles get entangled and die in these nets every year. To help remove ghost nets and save sea turtles trapped within them, we have partnered with the Olive Ridley Project to create the Sea Turtle Legend Bracelet. The bracelet comes with two capsules: one capsule is filled with a plastic fishing net that has been removed from the Indian Ocean, and the other is empty for you to fill with something meaningful. Each bracelet comes with a card that allows you to follow a sea turtle's journey to recovery. Through our partnership, we are working on removing the plastic ghost nets from our oceans to protect the lives of threatened sea turtles and marine life. Come aboard and join our mission to protect our oceans, one ghost net at a time.