A turtle on Vomo Island, Fiji

Fiji’s Vomo Island Hawksbill Turtle Protection Program has registered another successful release of a young-adult turtle into the wild.

Born on Vomo Island in July 2009, the turtle was one of hundreds hatched on the island and were cared for and raised until old enough to be released into the ocean.

General Manager Wayne Milgate says that the Hawksbill Turtle Protection Program is flourishing on Vomo and it is pleasing to see guests and staff get behind these endangered species with their support and respect.

“Hawksbill Turtles are iconic in the South Pacific and we do our utmost to teach guests about the respect and place these creatures have in the Fijian culture,” he says.

With mature turtles returning to their birthplace to lay their eggs, Vomo has multiple hutches of eggs laid on the island each year, traditionally between November and January.

“Obviously in years to come it is our goal to see the turtles we release into the ocean come back to Vomo to lay their eggs to continue and strengthen the cycle,” Milgate says.

In May 2011, the tides and the moon were ideal for a release and guests witnessed the release of another turtle raised on Vomo. The Fijian staff responsible for the program believe education is empowerment for these majestic creatures with all guests playing a significant role during the ceremony.