Lady Dau ni Vonu Latest Transmission
‘Lady Daunivonu’ is the latest Loggerhead turtle to be satellite tagged in Fiji, bringing the total number of Loggerhead species tagged in the country to four.
Community based turtle monitors, locally known as the “Dau ni Vonu”, officially took the lead and applied their globally significant satellite tagging training to tag lady Daunivonu.
The turtle monitor from Yadua Island, Pita Qarau said he was grateful that the villagers were able to do the tagging themselves so they could take ownership of the tagging activities.
Qarau further added that members of the community present during the process of tagging felt a deeper appreciation for turtle conservation in the country after releasing lady Daunivonu.
“Most of the time people view satellite tagging as an activity that only happens overseas.
Today the communities have seen that no matter how small we are in the world, we still have a role to play in the protection of sea turtles.”
The four villages that participated in the tagging included Nakalou, Yadua, Naivaka and Koronasolo who are all part of the Dau ni Vonu network which operates along the northern coast of Vanua Levu and the Great Sea Reef to support the recovery of marine turtles through specific awareness programmes within their community.
WWF South Pacific’s Marine Species officer, Merewalesi Laveti said, “This tagging is very special because we have the turtle monitors showing their fellow members of the community the process involved in satellite tagging.”
“This way we hope that it encourages everyone to participate in the protection of sea turtles. She added, the protection of sea turtles does not just lie with the turtle monitors it is the responsibility of every person, regardless of age or rank.”
“All signals from the satellite antenna attached to the turtles back is picked up by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) based in Hawaii and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa.”
“The feed received is then plotted on a map so as to get the information on the movement and migration pattern of lady Daunivonu.”
Loggerhead turtles are one of the five turtles found in Fiji waters.
Although not known to nest in Fiji, they have been found feeding and foraging in Fiji waters.
Also present on Yadua Island were representatives from the WWF South Pacific, the Department of Fisheries and the National Trust of Fiji.
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