THE Ministry of Fisheries has reiterated that it will deal with people who continue to defy the turtle ban.
The ban prohibits the catching of turtles unless permitted by the ministry's permanent secretary.
This follows the recapture of five turtles from a village in Namuka, Macuata, early this week.
The green turtles, initially destined for the pot at Nasovivi Village, were safely returned to the ocean on Wednesday afternoon.
Quick intervention by the Fisheries Department in Labasa after a tip-off resulted in their successful release.
Remaining immobile during the trip to the Malau waters, the turtles started responding to the officers' touch as they neared the sea, sensing the smell of the ocean and freedom.
Principal fisheries officer North Jovesa Naceva said they were still conducting awareness campaigns and would start enforcing the Fisheries Act from January next year.
Mr Naceva said the villagers of Nasovivi thought the turtle ban was not in effect.
"We want to remind people that the turtle spawning period is from the first of September towards the 31st of March and during this period there is a ban on the slaying or catching of turtles," he said.
"The Fisheries Department will continue to monitor turtles in the North with the assistance of WWF, FLMMA, USP, turtle wardens and all media agencies."