AN island came together in a conservation experience to tag Adi Laveti Yadua, the first loggerhead turtle to be tagged in the country.
By the time Yadua islanders in Bua released Adi Laveti, a female, into the sea, the significance of tagging turtles had taken on more importance.
Two other turtles ù Tunimata, an adult male loggerhead and Vuetiyadua, a sub-adult female loggerhead ù were also tagged.
It was the first time the community tagged turtles since turtle monitors were appointed six months previously in a program facilitated by the World Wide Fund for Nature.
WWF marine species officer Merewalesi Laveti said getting the community to take ownership of the turtle conservation program was finally on a roll.
"Turtle monitors went out and looked for it and tagged it in partnership with the WWF, National Trust of Fiji, Department of Fisheries and South Pacific Regional Environmental Program along with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration," she said.
"The main things we are doing are for communities to initiate conservation works and take part in research to see changes and at the same time they are well informed rather than just making decisions based on hypothesis.
"Tagging provides us with critical information about their migratory patterns. And it motivates them to save more turtles."
Pita Qarau, who leads the turtle conservation effort on Yadua, said unlike before, islanders for the first time were now reluctant about eating turtle meat.