WWF Turtle Workshop
Last week the WWF South Pacific Programme Office (SPPO) staged a week long workshop for the people of Vanua Levu in Turtle conservation and monitoring.
The workshop saw people from all over Vanua Levu including Mali, Yaqaga, Yandua, Namuka, and Kia gather together in Nakalou village, Macuata to learn more about the endangered Sea Turtle.
The first day of the workshop discussed with its students the importance of turtles in the South Pacific, how to spot the difference between the seven different types of sea turtle – six of which can be found in Fijian waters.
During the second day the workshops focus moved to the areas of turtle conservation and monitoring and students presented to the group their ideas to help protect fragile sea turtles in Fiji.
Following a short classroom session in the techniques of turtle monitoring, such as measuring, determining a turtle’s gender and flipper tagging, the students took to the beach to put their newly learnt conservations skills into practice.
The workshop achieved the rare task of tagging two small Green Turtles and catching a large 1.3 meter long adult female that will later be satellite tagged in Nadi.
The success of the tagging exercise means that we will be able to better understand turtle movements around Fiji, particularity with the satellite tag. We gather a wealth of information every time we perform the task and it helps scientists and conservationists all over the world better understand these mysterious creations and thus better understand how to protect them.”
Everyone involved was very happy with the outcome of this turtle workshop, not only was attendance excellent and, by all accounts, everyone fully enjoyed themselves, but we managed to flipper tag two small Green Turtles and catch one large enough to satellite tag! Opportunities like these are quite rare.