New sanctuary to preserve turtle population

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A young guest takes a picture of a hawksbill turtle at Mana Island Resort’s new Volivoli Pond. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO

A NEW turtle sanctuary has been established at Mana Island Resort and Spa in an effort to preserve the turtle population in the Mamanuca Group.

Dubbed the Volivoli Pond, the sanctuary consists of breeding bonds for hawksbill turtles and different varieties of clams and lobsters.

Chief guest at the event, resort owner Osamu Ide said the resort’s turtle conservation program was an important part of its attraction to international guests.

“My father, who bought the resort in 1993 was someone who loved nature and he was the one who wanted us to protect all of the natural resources on Mana Island,” said Mr Ide.

“So when we started building more rooms and had to cut down a few trees, he would be the one that suggested we use that same tree somewhere else. He didn’t want to waste any of our natural reserves.

“That is why 25 years later we are still making sure that we protect our natural resources including our marine life.

“Volivoli Pond is a continuation of our conservation work.”

A popular nesting site for hawksbill turtles, the resort incorporates its conservation programs into guest activities by holding environmental days each week.

Commending the work carried out by the resort, Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said it was a great initiative towards the conservation of ocean resources.

“I think it’s very good that they are able to capture the various sea life that is available in Fiji, especially turtles which are one of the most special of sea creatures,” he said.

“And by showcasing them in these ponds, it will allow Mana Island Resort and its guests to better understand marine life.”

The resort marks environment day each Wednesday.

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