As the Mamanuca Turtle Conservation Project continues, stakeholders and members are encountering turtles that are injured, weak and ill. Reports and updates have been reported to the society. This was evident on the 24th of June where a female hawksbill turtle was rescued from Denarau waters. Staff of Port Marina stated that when they found her floating on surface, she was under stress showing no sign of movement.
The staff assumed that she must have been struck by boat propellers as they saw scratches above her prefrontal scales. Port Marina Reservations Manager reported the incident to Mamanuca Environment Society whereby later in the afternoon MES officers Kolinio and Ilisapeci visited the hawksbill to assess and carry out monitoring. The hawksbill’s carapace measurements were 83cm in length and 78cm in width.
The hawksbill was later tagged. During the tagging process she tried to move around, moving her flippers on the tray where she was being laid on. There were some barnacles attached to its back and a ring attached to the edge of its shell. The ring may indicate that the turtle was highly likely to be in captivity. There were also five other notable ring piercing marks at various points around the edge of the turtles shell.
On the morning of the 25th the turtle was released by Port Marina staff between Malamala and Yaku I Lau Island. The team hopes to outline tailored best practices to a local context on observing ill, injured, and under stress turtles during this project.