Turtle Island is a very special place, as are the sea turtles that make their home and fragile nests on our shores. As a result of being spectacularly beautiful creatures, sea turtles are sadly hunted for the monetary value of their shells. We save the lives of sea turtles in the Yasawas, our chain of islands, with our Turtle Preserve program.
In the Yasawas, local fishermen bring sea turtles to Turtle Island because we have committed to pay top dollar for any turtle. Then, we host a spirited auction among our guests with the winner adopting the turtle. The proceeds from the auction benefit the community education fund, and the winner paints a message in eco-friendly marine paint on the shell of the turtle. By humanely defacing the shell in this manner, that turtle is no longer at risk of being hunted for its shell. The turtle is then released back to the sea. Guests tell us that they’ve received messages from around the world informing them as to the whereabouts and safety of their adopted turtles.
Recently we had 14 turtles hatch on Turtle Island on Valentine’s Day. We nurtured these hatchlings until they had the best chance of surviving independently – then we released them to the sea. Witnessing a strengthening of the sea turtle population in the Yasawas is one of our greatest pleasures and proudest accomplishments.