Solo releases turtle back into the sea
Choiseul province was one of the highlights of Solo the Mascot’s nationwide tour around Solomon Islands by far – with Solo given the honor of releasing a live turtle back into the sea.
It was on October 1st, 2022, at Boe Boe village–that as part of celebrating Solo’s arrival, the villagers gave Solo the honor of releasing a live turtle back into a Marine Protected Area (MPA) between Boe Boe and Tagu Beach Resort, Choiseul province.
“The program here (Boe Boe Village) was indeed a highlight as it involved the release of a live turtle by Solo, the 2023 Pacific Games Mascot.
“We are all happy having to witness Solo, the Mascot releasing a turtle back into the sea.
“That is historical, that is special as it signifies our commitment to conserving sea turtles. It signifies the work done at ACMP (Arnavon Community Marine Park).
“Seeing Solo, a sea turtle being the Games Official Mascot gives us even more joy.” Boe Boe village Elder, Derald Daza Daniel said.
Mr Daniel echoed similar sentiments echoed by other provinces Solo has visited, that Solo’s nationwide tour is already making people feel part of the Pacific Games.
The National Hosting Authority (NHA)’s Gino Oti, who had been documenting all of Solo’s tours since its public debut in August this year said that to capture such a special and historical moment where Solo knelt down, carried the turtle and released it back into the sea was indeed magical.
“It was just magical – I am lost for words to describe that sight,” he said.
Statistics from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Solomon Islands Office revealed that more than 11,000 sea turtles are harvested indiscriminately each year through spear fishing in Solomon Islands waters.
TNCSI studies revealed that Green and Hawksbill turtles were the dominant harvest – a vast majority of these turtles being juveniles.
Earlier this month, the Games Organizing Committee (GOC) and TNCSI strengthened their partnership – committing to advocate and provide awareness on preserving sea turtles throughout Solomon Islands and the region.