The World Turtle Day celebration serves as an important reminder that we must focus to increase respect and knowledge for these world’s oldest creatures. World Turtle Day is celebrated annually on the 23rd of May every year which serves as a platform to draw attention to stop the illegal trade of turtles and tortoise around the world and to educate people who are quite unfamiliar with the conservation of this endangered species.
Mamanuca Environment Society worked closely with several of its member resorts in celebrating world marked event. This includes Mana Island Resort and Spa, Castaway Island Resort and Malolo Island Resort. At Mana Island Resort and Spa, the celebrations were held in conjunction with its monthly E – DAY. It was celebrated on the 23rd of May but the turtle day awareness display programme started on the 20th of May where display booths were allocated beside the turtle pond with a large number of day trippers, in-house guests, kids club members from other resorts visited the pond with many questions asked about this endangered species. A total of 68 guests visited the Turtle Pond from Day 1 till Day 4. Mana in house guest, Host- field family stated that it was interested to see that Fiji is protecting its turtle population by implementing the turtle moratorium. On the day of the event, a 30 minutes presentation was conducted by MES Project Manager, Marica Vakacola on the significance of the world mark event highlighting the best practices and guidelines during this sea turtle nesting season, the importance of rehabilitation program for injured turtles at Mana Island Resort as contribution towards the Fiji Sea Turtle recovery plan and other environment projects that Mana Island is engaged in with the Mamanuca Environment Society.
At Castaway Island Resort, the world Turtle day was celebrated in conjunction with the resorts weekly Environment Thursday program a briefing was conducted by MES staff, Filomena Serenia on the importance of turtle conservation, followed by Butterfly fish count at the Castaway house reef where guests also got to learn about the characteristic of butterfly fish population and how they are associated with healthy coral reefs. After lunch the kids had a special turtle trip to Mana. The programme ended with a guest awareness marine presentation in the evening highlighting endangered marine species, dangerous marine organisms and conservation efforts in the region.
At Malolo Island Resort, the world marked event was celebrated on the 21st of May, 2015. MES Staff, Kolinio Vulaono gave a short presentation on the significance of world turtle day with highlights of Mamanuca Sea Turtle Conservation Project. There were 12 adults with 18 kids who went for turtle trip on the day where most of them pledge for turtle conservation. The resort staff and guest took time out to celebrate the event by doing turtle games such as turtle egg hunt, turtle sand sculpture and role play. The programme ended with certificate presentation at the Malolo Beach Bar.
Mamanuca Environment Society hopes to continue to promote the importance of sustainable management of natural resources through education and best practices in resorts and local communities including schools in the Mamanuca region by celebrating world marked events in the upcoming months.