Survey to strengthen the protection of Fiji’s Sea Turtle population
Funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature - United Kingdom, the volunteers will be deployed for a month to work alongside community based sea turtle monitors or the Dau ni Vonu in the North of Fiji and community members in the other divisions.
The volunteers who will become sea turtle monitors, were brought up to speed with the efforts taken at regional, national and the community level during the awareness training workshop aligning them to important regional documents, International laws such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and the Convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals as well as Fiji’s Offshore Fisheries Management Regulation 2014.
“For me personally, the sessions have been informative since I didn’t know much about the challenges faced and the regulations that support Turtle conservation in Fiji, “said Fredrica Nagan, one of the volunteers.
“I didn’t know anything about the conservation of turtles - not only in Fiji but across the region, for me personally, I learnt a lot about sea turtles as I did not know there were different species of turtles,”said Sefanaia Qionimacawa.
WWF-Pacific’s Fisheries Project officer, Laitia Tamata highlighted that the main emphasis of the survey is to assess areas that will need more effort in terms of community based management and the protection of nesting sites across Fiji.
“The roles of the monitors include collation of nesting, some understanding on use and interaction, sand temperature, weather, community perceptions and relevant information,” Mr Tamata said.
The second day at Nukulau Island was aimed at identifying key community, social and data collection protocols before they are deployed to the four divisions across Fiji for a month.