THE MUS­CLE BE­HIND THE 4FJ CAM­PAIGN

Ms Turner is the new­est cham­pion to pro­mote the re­vival of kawakawa and donu in Fiji

Fiji Sun - - Nation -

These fish have be­come too ex­pen­sive as the stock’s de­cline. I want to en­sure that all Fi­jians can en­joy them again, like we once did. We need to let them breed. Sen­im­ili Tabuakula Turner Fiji’s pow­er­lift­ing legend

Dubbed the Iron Lady, Fiji’s pow­er­lift­ing legend Sen­im­ili Tabuakula Turner is putting her mus­cle be­hind the 4FJ cam­paign.

Ms Turner is the new­est cham­pion to pro­mote the re­vival of kawakawa and donu in Fiji. “These fish have be­come too ex­pen­sive

as the stock’s de­cline. I want to en­sure that all Fi­jians can en­joy them again, like we once did,” Turner said. “We need to let them breed.”

Turner said she grew up eat­ing kawakawa and donu on Tave­uni. She fondly re­mem­bers her mother tak­ing her fish­ing as a child.

“I re­mem­ber as a lit­tle girl ty­ing a lit­tle noke (bas­ket) around my waist be­fore wad­ing out to the deep. If it got too deep, I would hold on to my mum. We would usu­ally catch a lot of them,” Turner said. “My favourite is hav­ing it boiled with bele or deep fried with le­mon. That was life in the vil­lage and it was a good life.” The 4FJ cam­paign asks peo­ple to avoid all species of kawakawa and donu dur­ing their breed­ing sea­son from June to Septem­ber, to give the rapidly dis­ap­pear­ing fish a chance to breed and re­stock our reefs. The A-grade fish are crit­i­cally im­por­tant to the food se­cu­rity, liveli­hoods and cul­ture of Fiji’s com­mu­ni­ties.

Start­ing in 2018, the Min­istry of Fish­eries banned the col­lec­tion, pos­ses­sion, sale and ex­port of all kawakawa and donu species from June 1st to Septem­ber 30th, to help re­verse the de­cline.

At 66, a widow and grand­mother to 9 grand­chil­dren, Turner still com­petes. Her ac­com­plish­ments in­clude a world record in the Master 3 pow­er­lift­ing cat­e­gory and nu­mer­ous gold medals from the Pa­cific, Asia/Ocea­nia and Com­mon­wealth games. Turner be­gan com­pet­ing at 45, after her hus­band passed away, tak­ing her grief and chan­nelling it into the sport.

“Sen­im­ili is a tes­ta­ment of what deter­mi­na­tion can ac­com­plish and we are deeply grate­ful she is putting her bound­less en­ergy be­hind the 4FJ cam­paign,” said Scott Rad­way, founder of cChange, the or­gan­i­sa­tion that cre­ated the 4FJ cam­paign.

Turner has made a com­mit­ment to shar­ing the 4FJ mes­sage with her fam­ily, friends and fans.

Fiji’s pow­er­lift­ing legend Sen­im­ili Tabuakula Turner.

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