Tonga’s Environment Department monitors four turtles from Fangaloto

Communications Officer, Iliesa Tora said, “Efforts being made to save the turtles and ensure they are ready for the return to their natural habitat.”

There is concern about the state of the lagoon after a member of the public posted photos of dead and sick turtles on social media yesterday (Wednesday).

Tora confirmed that a team from the Environment Department visited the site and collected water samples to be tested.

Four turtles are left in the lake opposite the New Zealand High Commission residence in Fangaloto.

Dead turtles discovered in Tonga

The Department of Environment Tonga became aware of the issue when the public posted photos of the turtles on Facebook.

Lena Moimoi said her children discovered turtles that were dying and some were dead in the Popua area.

“Incase it has yet to be reported to the Ministry of Fisheries - it seems like some sort of contamination POISONING TURTLES and other sea creatures in the Popua area!”

“My kids discovered several SICK, DYING & DEAD TURTLES in the Popua Area and assumed it was all the RUBBISH which they went on to clean up,” she said on Facebook.

Tonga implements new petroleum prices

According to the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development, Tonga Competent Authority approved the new prices.

The wholesale price will increase by 11.68, 14.48 and 13.88 seniti/litre for petrol, kerosene and diesel respectively.

All price changes include consumption tax.

The local retail prices have been impacted by an increase in the global prices with kerosene and diesel rising slightly more due to demand recovery in China/India.


Chef Robert Oliver on steering a Pacific food revolution

Oliver is the creator of Pacific Island Food Revolution, a televised contest in which people compete to create the best dish with ingredients from countries such as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

He said the show aimed to encourage Pacific Island people to eat healthier, more traditional foods and to spice up the tourism industry by getting island restaurants offering tasty local dishes.

Many imported foods that have become popular among Pacific Island people are highly processed and contain large amounts of fat, sugar and salt.

Tonga renews Covid-19 State of Emergency declaration

The previous extension announced on 21 December 2020 ends at 8pm today.

The declaration states that there is a continuous spread of the novel coronavirus disease (“Covid-19”) worldwide and in countries close to Tonga.

The extension is necessary to prevent or minimize risk and the loss of human life to Covid-19

The Declaration of a State Emergency applies over all the land and sea areas of Tonga.

The Government has approved several repatriation flights to allow Tongan citizens stranded overseas to return home.


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Tonga's dog population surges as Covid-19 restrictions keep foreign vets out of the country

The closure of international borders meant foreign vets from South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW) couldn't run their free desexing programmes in the country — and without a qualified vet in Tonga, there are now estimated to be more than 20,000 dogs on Tongatapu alone.

Angela Glover, vice-president of the Tonga Animal Welfare Society, said the need for veterinary care has never been more urgent.

Tonga out of list of countries eligible for US seasonal and guest worker visas

Kaniva News reports the H-2A and H-2B visa programmes allow employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, respectively. 

Tonga has already lost the opportunity to participate in the January recruitment for New Zealand’s RSE scheme. 

The New Zealand government wanted all RSE workers repatriated before Tonga could be allocated a new share of the 2000 employees who were expected to arrive in New Zealand this month.

Tonga was the only Pacific nation with RSE workers left in New Zealand. 

Australia presents vehicles to Tonga army

The Defence Advisor Commander, Jason McBain said the Australian Defence Force is providing the vehicles as part of ongoing support to His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

According to the Australian High Commission, the support is made available under the Australian Defence Cooperation Programme - Tonga.

Australia has five Defence Force personnel posted to and living in Tonga who partner with His Majesty’s Armed Forces in training, maintenance as well as operational and security planning.

Tonga and Japan discuss sports and rugby assistance for Tonga

After raising ¥1, 150, 000 (USD11,073) from a direct appeal to residents of Kochi Prefecture to fund the purchase of rugby balls for rugby development in Tonga, the Embassy was informed that the donation of 200 rugby balls will be provided and intended for the outer islands in Tonga.

Joining the meeting was  Sinali Latu, President of the Tonga Japan Community, and Intern Yukino Saigo, the community said on its social media platform.

Tongans stranded abroad return home

Twenty-four Tongans stranded in Samoa arrived on a government-chartered flight operated by Lulutai Airlines around midday yesterday (Thursday).

A second flight carrying 230 passengers arrived from Auckland, New Zealand.

 According to the CEO for MEIDECC, Paula Ma’u, the flight from New Zealand landed at 2:30pm with 214 nationals.

The other passengers were Samoan nationals who later left for Apia on another flight.