The Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has released 18 green turtles (Chelonia Mydas) at Kuta Beach, Bali. “The turtles were confiscated by the Gianyar Police on 13th March, as well as the Buleleng Police and Indonesian Navy [TNI AL] on 17th March,” Head of BKSDA Bali, Budhy Kurniawan commented. He also added that 27 more green turtles were confiscated in March this year.
Earlier, four turtles have been released at Buleleng Beach. Three are currently being treated at Ganesha Education University, while two are still at the Turtle Conservation and Education Center (TCEC) in Serangan, Denpasar.
According to the BKSDA, the green turtles underwent a traumatic journey after having been poached. Some of their flippers were ripped because they had been tied. The turtles also underwent medical and stress-relief treatment. Aside from the green turtles, the officials also released 50 Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea). They were hatched in an egg relocation area that is managed by The Kuta Beach Officials.
Budhy added that the turtles are classified as endangered by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Any kind of exploitation is forbidden, that can only be used for research, development, and rescue purposes. The population of green turtles is known to be decreasing significantly, which has a detrimental impact on the ecosystem. The turtles are known to control the sea sponge and jellyfish populations by feeding on them. Despite having a high fertility rate – laying more than 200 eggs at once – the turtle population is still limited since as not all eggs hatch, and not all hatchlings live until adulthood.
“Experts say out of 1,000 baby turtles, only one will reach adulthood,” Budhy iterated. Human activities are also known to interfere with the development of turtles and to affect their growth. The development of coastal areas is known to eradicate their nesting sites, while illegal activities such as poaching, theft, and trading are also known to pose a significant threat towards the population of turtles.
Source: The Jakarta Post