Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation and JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa organized the 3rd Mai Khao Turtle Release on March 2nd, 2012, to raise funds and awareness for the plight of Phuket’s critically endangered sea turtles.
Supported by the Phuket Marine Biological Center and the Royal Thai Navy, the event saw 70 green turtles released back into the Andaman Sea. Among guests attending the event – held from 3.30 pm to 6 pm on beautiful Mai Khao Beach in front of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa’s Ginja Taste restaurant – were Phuket Marine Biological Center Director, Mickmin Jarujinda, Naval Civil Affairs Department Director, Capt. Parinyatham Poonpitak of the Royal Thai Navy, Phuket, and Phuket Governor representative Wiraj Makaew, Deputy Chief Executive of the SAO, along with local Phuket residents and resort guests.
This year’s turtle release marked the 10th anniversary of the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which was founded by JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa. Funds raised from the afternoon will be used by the foundation to support the valuable work of the Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program (under the Phuket Marine Biological Center) and the Turtle Hatchery Program (under the Royal Thai Navy). Ongoing financial support for the wonderful work that is done to help the endangered sea turtles also comes from donations by guests at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club, Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach, Anantara Phuket Villas and Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa.
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa’s General Manager Tony Pedroni – who is chairman of the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation – described the 3rd Mai Khao Turtle Release as a key achievement in efforts to take social responsibility for the preservation of Mai Khao’s environment and in raising awareness of saving Mai Khao Beach as a sea turtle nesting area. Other projects have included a beach and reef clean up, fundraising mini marathon and an educational project for Mai Khao students.
Phuket’s sea turtles are facing multiple threats and their numbers have severely depleted in recent years. Commercial fishing kills thousands of them every year. Many more die from eating or becoming trapped in plastic debris littering the ocean.
For more information about the foundation, please contact Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation Coordinator, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +6689-733-8830.