Thursday, September 13, 2007

84 endangered turtles slaughtered

As most of you would have heard, the Methodist Church held its Annual Conference in Macuata at the end of August.

The provinces of Macuata, Bua and Cakaudrove had asked permission to catch 20 turtles for "traditional" use during the conference.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific, who were present in Macuata for the 3-day conference, reported that 40 to 82 critically endangered Green and Hawksbill turtles allegedly killed for feasting by church members, although this number could be much higher then reported.

Turtles are among the most endagered of all species which are found in Fiji. The Hawksbill Turtle has been classed as CRITICALLY ENDAGERED.

Critically endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the World Conservation Union for wild species. Critically endangered means that a species numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations and could become extinct if conservation efforts are not stepped up.

I wonder when we will learn that there is more to gain from protecting these wonderful animals then serving them up on a plate?
The World Conservation Council which honoured Macuata high chief, Tui Macuata Ratu Asea Katonivere, in New York in June 2006 for the province's efforts in protected its marine areas, is none too impressed.
As an aside, heres another unique creature found in Fiji that many of us may not have heard of that is on the CRITICALLY ENDAGERED LIST. So, if you do see one (which is very unlikely), please leave it alone:
The Fiji Petrel, Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi, is a small, dark gadfly petrel.

The Fiji Petrel was known from one immature specimen found in 1855 on Gau Island, Fiji. It was rediscovered in 1983, since when there have been a further seven records. This species is classified as critically endangered as it is inferred from the number of records that there is a tiny population confined to a small breeding area.  


Samu said...

They'll only rest when all turtles are gone..............

Luisa said...

Such short-sightedness , its disgraceful..........

laminar_flow said...

Like with Cannabalism, it was Fijian culture but had to be waned out because of Christianity. Now it is rather ironic, to see the church bending over for culture.

What else will the Methodist Church allow? Witchcraft or Wife Strangling.
Since Methodist Church does not pay taxes and still owes the State; it appears that the entity of the Methodist church has no respect for the Law.

In the modern age; culture does not exist in a vacuum.

This also marks the strata of divide; demarcating culture and law in Fiji.

laminar_flow said...

Methodist Church and Macuata Provincial Council is Cherry Picking what cultural practices it should follow.
If they are adamant that Turtle Killing is part of Fijian culture; the same can be said of Cannibalism, Wife Strangling and Witchcraft.