The Mamanuca Group of Islands is one of Fiji known nesting sites for sea turtles main Hawksbill turtle. Over the years, adult turtles and turtle eggs are overexploited for meat and for traditional use with a high lack of awareness on the legislation that protects this critically endangered species by the IUCN. The project has allowed the Mamanuca Environment Society team to extend and promote the importance of sea turtles to the grass root community from adults to the youngest at preschool level. Also part of the project are the resort staff and management and tourist operators in the region.
Collaborative work continues with International working partners and we were fortunate to host two scientists for two days on Mana Island Resort. Visiting team to the Mamanuca region includes Dr George Balaz from Honu World Hawaii and Dr Theirry Work from the US Geological Survey. Having worked on the turtle project for more that 40 years in the Pacific, Dr George shared his experience working in different countries and the challenges he faced in turtle conservation. Dr Thierry having worked extensively on wildlife health and we had the privilege to learn on how best to manage the injured and sick turtles in Mana rehabilitation captive pond and gave recommendation for specific medication for different health conditions. Also discussed was pond maintenance with the main focus on diet, water depth, medication treatment and pond water circulation.