THE 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. 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.