Turtles are beautiful creatures that like to take their time to get around and on a recent visit to Vanuatu, where I think most people were operating on turtle time, I was lucky enough to visit a Hawksbill Turtle Conservation Sanctuary at Tranquility Island Resort.
The aptly named Tranquility is an eco-resort and dive centre, as well as a turtle sanctuary, near Port Vila. The resort is the opposite of luxury – it is all about simplicity and the chance to get back to nature. The beach huts are basic and constructed with woven doors and thatched roofs. With no mains electricity, cars or bikes and very little light pollution, this place offers what other holidays do not – but instead a chance to see, feel and listen to nature as nature intended.
My pick is, over the next decade this will be the new luxury! People will want to get away from the pressures of fast city life.
Added to this eco environment is the concern for protecting the local turtle population. The resort has 200 juvenile turtles that are being raised from hatchlings until they reach one year old, before being tagged and released into the ocean. To date the eco-resort has released 1,200 healthy Hawksbill turtles.
Hawksbill turtles are considered critically endangered, meaning the species faces a very high risk of total extinction. The first year of their lives is the most perilous, many get snatched by hungry predators. Humans, however, are the greatest threat. Plastic waste chocking our oceans; unsustainable fishing methods and propeller-damage from speedboats are amongst the key killers.
Not only are they considered the most endangered species of turtle, Hawksbills rank as the fourth most endangered species on the planet.
What a pleasure it was to experience first hand this endangered species and to sponsor one of the turtles. This is an opportunity given to all visitors to the sanctuary.
Not only do you get to name the turtle you have chosen, your name and email is recorded on the turtle’s tag. Once released these turtles travel across international oceans. The turtles will be tracked and you will be kept up-to-date with their migrations – and these guys travel long haul!
They can be found along the east coast of Africa, along the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the coasts of India and Southeast Asia. In Australia they are known to nest on Milman Island in the Great Barrier Reef and their Pacific range extends from Korea and Japan, down to northern New Zealand.