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By Ana Madigibuli
The Mamanuca Environment Society (EMS) officially launched their Mamanuca Turtle Conservation project at Castaway Island Resort yesterday.
The project saw the launch of three documents which included the best practices guidelines and policy; the Mamanuca sea turtle community-based management plans and the biological report.
Society project manager Betani Salusalu said the documentations reflected the initiative and management plans for local community which were put together to show the best way people could conserve their resources, particularly focusing on turtles.
Mr Salusalu said the Mamanuca group of islands had been known for being among the best tourism destinations in the country.
He said it was vital that they understood the best practice guidelines and policy relating to turtle conservation.
“Ninety per cent of the islands out here are nesting and feeding grounds for these turtles, making it extra important for people here to take into consideration the importance of such guidelines,” Mr Salusalu said.
“The launching of the project reflects on the regulations and guidelines which can be adopted by any organisation which wishes to conserve turtles.
Society chairman and Castaway Island Resort managing director, Geoffrey Shaw said they were proud of their achievement.
Mr Shaw said the project would see better management of sea turtles in the Mamanucas.
The Tui Lawa, Ratu Savenaia Lalabalavu, said the people of the Mamanucas would benefit in terms of increase in turtle numbers and also other marine life species.
Ratu Savenaia said they had seen a lot of changes in the past years, particularly with the Society now looking after the wellbeing of marine resources around the Mamanuca Group.
Also, to mark the occasion, three hawksbill sea turtles, were released into the sea marking the first turtle releasing for Castaway Island Resort.