Dave Pflieger, the president and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Silver Airways, leads a company with a fleet of 36 aircraft providing flights to nine states and the Bahamas. Prior to taking over Silver Airways, Dave Pflieger served as managing director and CEO of Air Pacific Ltd., now known as Fiji Airways. The airline is a sponsor of the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) and David Pflieger continues to support the efforts of the society to protect the ecosystems of the Fijian Mamanuca Islands.
Established in 2006, the Mamanuca Turtle Conservation Project furthers MES efforts to safeguard vulnerable turtle populations. Independently supervised by the United Nations Development Program, the project’s multiple objectives include instituting procedures for observing and monitoring the habits of marine turtles, advocating for education that informs the surrounding communities and resorts about the protection of endangered turtles, and other endeavors.
With the aid of a $50,000 grant from the Global Environment Fund Small Grants Project, MES has been able to advance the Mamanuca Turtle Conservation Project. The Adopt-a-Turtle program is run in conjunction with Mana Island Resort and Spa and it involves tourists in the rehabilitation of the turtle population. One day each month, the resort hosts activities for tagging and releasing one- to two-year-old turtles. Observation has verified that several of the Mamanuca Islands serve as breeding or nesting sites for turtles and the project maps and evaluates these beaches. The University of the South Pacific Institute of Marine Resources and the Fiji Department of Fisheries partner with MES to develop best practices for these efforts.