Bali’s turtles get a helping hand

Last weekend 300 turtle hatchlings were released in Bali by human volunteers, part of Bali’si big “eco weekend”.

Around 2,000 volunteers lent the sea turtle hatchlings a helping hand and also cleaned up beaches on the Kuta, just north of the Bukit peninsula.

You can watch a short video report on Bali’s eco weekend and the turtle release on the Brisbane Times website by clicking here.

photo by Annie Mole (Flickr CC)

Sea turtles are a protected and endangered species in Indonesia, the Southeast Asian nation, which the island of Bali belongs to. In addition to predators like sharks and sea birds, sea turtles have to watch out for humans who are not as kind as the volunteers in Kuta last weekend. Other, less scrupulous, members of our species have developed a taste for sea turtle meat, and this is fueling an underground illegal trade.

Just a couple of days ago maritime police in Bali caught and arrested three smugglers who were allegedly attempting to bring 18 adult sea turtles onto the island as part of the illegal turtle meat trade. Each smuggler faces up to 5 years in jail and fines of up to $11,700/€8,200 if convicted.

According to a report in the Jakarta Globe the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) released 16 of the turtles back into the wild and kept two at their center, where they will be used as evidence in the upcoming case against the smugglers.

Last November authorities seized 87 live green sea turtles from smugglers and another 38 in January.

The turtles can live up to 80 years.

Check out the Sea Turtle Foundation’s Bali page.

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