The travel demands have changed dramatically in the past few years and many travellers now look towards sustainable experiences during their stays. Ranked amidst the most sustainable resorts in the Maldives is Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, a property that boasts numerous pioneering initiatives at its shores. This includes the revolutionary Sustainability Lab, the innovative Coralarium and Turtle Ranger Programme among others. Coming to tighten the eco-conscious knots further is Sea Turtle Biologist & Guest Educator, Neus Segura. She would be stepping in as the new marine biologist at Fairmont Maldives.
Neus has been working with the Olive Ridley Project, the forefront NGO for Turtle Research and Conservation in the Maldives. Her appointment to the resort further consolidates Fairmont Maldives’ existing partnership with the charity as she shares her knowledge on educating guests and being a sea turtle biologist.
The partnership will enable the resort to enhance its commitment to marine conservation and education on sea turtles both for guests and local communities, through the Fairmont School Award Scheme, whereby children from schools within the Shaviyani Atoll are invited to participate in educational workshops on marine conservation led by Neus and the team.
Hailing from Spain and born on the island of Mallorca, Neus grew up closely acquainted with the sea and has loved the ocean ever since he can remember. At the age of 16, she volunteered at a local sea turtle rescue centre, which made her passionate about working on the frontline, driving efforts for the conservation of these gentle creatures. While pursuing her degree in Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth, Neus frequently spend her summers in Wildlife Sense in Kefalonia, Greece. Here, she volunteered and worked with turtles over many summers.
When she was completing her Masters in Marine Ecology from the University of the Balearic Islands, Neus was offered the position of principal investigator onboard the research vessel Totevaag from Alnitak Research Institute. During the three-year period, she fulfilled various responsibilities on board including educating volunteers and introducing mitigation measures to counteract the risk of bycatch in fisheries.
The Hawksbill turtle is one of the most critically endangered species in the world and one that is frequently sighted in the Maldives. These incredible species also account for the majority of the individual resident sea turtles populations documented on the resort’s house reef and in the surrounding islands. In her new role, Neus will be monitoring the turtle nest activity and creating awareness among guests and staff on sea turtle biology and the prominent threats they face.
Moreover, Neus will also be introducing different topics at the weekly Marine Life Presentations held at the resort, overseen by the Sustainability Manager, Sameul Dixon. In her presentations, she will spotlight turtles, manta rays and other marine species, educating and encouraging the next generation of eco-conscious travellers to learn more about the marine ecosystem.
Guests staying at Fairmont Maldives can also contribute to conservation missions by actively taking part in the Marine Biology Team to track, protect and assist turtle hatchlings in their journey from nest to ocean. Some of the featured programmes are:
Turtle Ranger Programme: Help monitor the Hawksbill Turtles in the water by tracking and identifying new nests.
Snorkelling Tours of the Coralarium: Check out the unique coral regeneration project portrayed in the form of an underwater art gallery. The site is now home to 100+ fish species.
Planting Coral: Lend a hand in coral rehabilitation by planting fragments in the 9km house reef and tracking its growth in later visits.
Sustainability Lab Workshop: Turn plastic trash into treasure by transforming waste into bespoke souvenirs and useful products.