Dedicated to protecting the environmental resources and biodiversity of Fiji’s Mamanuca Region, the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) encourages the sustainable use of resources, as well as collaboration between all Mamanuca residents and visitors, to preserve the region’s flora and fauna. MES partners with numerous local tourist resorts to carry out its goals, and its joint initiative with the Mana Island Resort and Spa has gone to great lengths to restore and protect Fiji’s turtle populations.
The Mana Turtle Recovery pond serves as a safe haven for injured, sick, and displaced turtles rescued from the wild. It takes in hatchlings and juveniles that are too weak to survive on their own and cares for them until they can safely reenter the ecosystem. The project draws on support from The University of the South Pacific’s Marine Resources and the Fiji Department of Fisheries while MES assists in monitoring the young turtles’ health, diet, and growth. By collecting data on their progress and documenting it with the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s Turtle Research and Monitory Database Tool, MES helps to develop strategies to maximize the turtles’ survival rates and improve Fiji’s marine turtle population.
As of July 2015, the Mana Turtle Recovery pond housed 33 hatchlings and three juveniles, two of which were almost healthy enough to return to the wild. Because the Mana Turtle Recovery at Mana Island Resort and Spa is a popular attraction for visitors, it also serves as an instrument to raise awareness and support for Fiji’s struggling yet resilient turtles.
About David Pflieger
David Pflieger - Senior Airline Executive