The Conservation and Management of Sea Turtles within Fijian Waters
by Ministry of Fisheries, Fiji (Government)
The objective of this voluntary commitment is to formulate regulation on the conservation of sea turtles and fully implement the National Sea Turtle Recovery Plan.
Five of the seven species of sea turtles are present in Fijian Waters. These are Hawksbill turtle, Green turtle, Loggerhead turtle, Leatherback turtle and the Olive Ridley turtles. Sea turtles have a strong connection to the culture and traditions of the Fijian people. There have been severe declines in the numbers of sea turtles found in Fiji over the last three decades. However, some recovery levels for each stock have been recorded after three different Moratoriums had been placed on sea turtles since 1985, and the Fiji Sea Turtle Recovery Plan had been implemented from 2010. The current Sea turtle moratorium expires at the end of 31 December, 2018.
The Fijian Government, together with its partners, will continue to work towards the conservation and management of these highly endangered and iconic sea turtle species, which will focus on strengthening stakeholder participation, and working to implement the Sea Turtle Recovery or Rebuilding Plan- which should run until 2030. The declaration of the voluntary commitment by the Fijian Government would ensure that sea turtle conservation regulations are promulgated and implemented effectively. The proposed regulation would also take into account key factors such as reducing marine pollution (particularly plastics released across the oceans, coastal seas and coral reef ecosystems), and the protection of nesting areas (beaches) and foraging ground. An allowable annual quota will be established for each of the four geographical divisions for cultural harvest purposes for local iTaukei communities only. Enforcement and implementation will be monitored by the Ministry of Fisheries and other government institutions. The SPREP Turtle Action Plan would also be implemented, as outlined within the National Sea Turtle Recovery Plan.
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
A National Sea Turtle Conservation Regulation would have been endorsed, and implemented by the national partners.
Double the number of nesting females both Green and Hawksbill sea turtles from the current low nesting females (less than 700 nesting females).
Fiji will restore its natural population of sea turtles, particularly for the three main species of sea turtles, which are Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead; and the overall sea turtles population has recovered by at least 60% of original stocks (i.e. Hawksbill and Green sea turtles species to reach at least 3,000-4,000 adults/semi B adults).
Other, please specify
Funds: Funds will be secured through grant programs, and the budget of the Ministry of Fisheries.
Staff / Technical expertise
Ministry of Fisheries. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), trained Fish wardens. Additional Funding and Technical support would be provided by the Secretariat of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and other fundi
Time-frame: July 2017 - December 2030
Government: Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Department of Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education
NGOs: Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Partners in Community Development, Mamanuca Environment Society
Private Sector: Resort Owners
Academic Institutions: University of the South Pacific (USP)
Other organisations: Secretariat of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme
1) General public
2) Fijian marine environment
Aisake Batibasaga, Mr, email@example.com,