9 turtles saved from becoming satay sticks
Detik.com reports that Indonesian police in Bali’s Jembrana Regency have arrested a man in connection with the smuggling of nine green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Bali.
Indonesian law prohibits trade in sea turtles or sea turtle products. The Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation Act (Law number 5 of 1990) provides for up to five years in prison and maximum fines of up to Rp. 100 million for people who sell or buy turtles or turtle products.
To learn more about Indonesian sea turtlesvisit the Profauna.com page on sea turtles.
The leader of the Jembrana Police StationAKBP I Gde Juliana, said on Friday, February 18, 2022: “For the legal process, we are still investigating the only person we have in custody to learn more about the point of origin of the (confiscated) turtles.”
Although Juliana did not reveal the name of the man in police custody, he promised the press that he would share more details once police identified all responsible parties.
Police confiscated the nine turtles and arrested the man in custody based on public information about a vessel carrying protected turtles landing in Jembrana Regency. Police seized the vessel smuggling the contraband wildlife when it landed at Pengambengan, Negara Sub-district, Jembrana Regency.
Local Water Police (Polairud), in coordination with the Jembrana Police Criminal Division, investigated the report and discovered nine green sea turtles being smuggled into Bali. Police suspect the turtles were destined for slaughter, with their meat to be eaten during major Balinese ritual ceremonies scheduled for March.
Juliana said the nine turtles were hidden under the fiberglass deck of the ship.
Police confirm that the confiscation of the nine turtles, including one estimated to be 90 years old, was coordinated with the Bali Natural Resources Protection Agency (BKSDA). The turtles are now at Kurma Asih Turtle Conservation Center in the village of Peracak in Jembrana for custody
Juliana said police officers under her command are prioritizing the safety of the nine turtles so that they can eventually be safely returned to the ocean in their original habitat near Jember in East Java.
Detik.com reports the head of Denpasar Agency for Coastal and Oceanic Natural Resource Management (BPSPL), Permana Yudiarso, said on Saturday, February 19, 2022, that some of the rescued turtles suffered injuries while being treated by veterinarians.
Yudiarso confirmed on Friday that BPSPL-Denpasar had already physically inspected all the rescued turtles. The examinations were carried out by the veterinarian drh I Wayan Yustisia of the Indonesian Aquatic Megafauna Veterinary Medical Association (IAM Flying Vet) and drh Deny du Indonesian Wildlife Network (JSI). Doctors took careful body measurements of the nine turtles and examined each reptile’s general health. Representatives of BKSDA-Bali attached identification tags to each of the turtles.
Three of the newly tagged turtles as idb 01172, idb 01166, and idb 01170 had barnacle wounds and other fin cuts from being bound by ropes. The veterinary medical team administered antiseptics and metabolic stimulants to speed up recovery. Doctors also performed diagnostic blood tests.
None of the injuries affected the turtles’ ability to swim normally, Yudiarso said. All nine turtles were found to be adequately hydrated.
Body length measurements taken on the nine turtles showed the largest measured 130 centimeters and the smallest 44 centimeters. All turtles were protected green turtles with eight designated as female and one as male. Four of the nine turtles were classified as productive adult reptiles.