32 turtles rescued from poaching attempt in Bali

The Indonesian Navy holding a press conference announcing their rescue of 32 sea turtles in Bali. Photo: Indonesian Navy
The Indonesian Navy holding a press conference announcing their rescue of 32 sea turtles in Bali. Photo: Indonesian Navy

The Indonesian Navy stationed in Denpasar rescued 32 sea turtles from illegal poachers on Thursday, as the marine creature comes under increasing threat amid desperate economic conditions.

Three fishing vessels set out from South Badung on Wednesday afternoon and returned the following morning after having caught dozens of sea turtles.

“They managed to catch 32 turtles overnight,” Denpasar Naval Base Commander I Komang Teguh Ardana said during a press conference today.

Naval officers intercepted the vessels and rescued the sea turtles. Twenty-one crew members were also arrested.

The poachers are regular fishermen in the area, but they have turned to catching sea turtles due to increasing demand from buyers and to meet their economic needs.

The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) said sea turtles don’t usually swim to Bali’s shores to nest, but they have been doing so in the past five years, making them a target for the island’s fishermen.

“Their economic value is estimated to be tens of millions of rupiah for the large ones. As for where [poached turtles] are distributed, the Naval Base is looking into it,” Bali BKSDA Chief R. Agus Budi Santosa said.

The rescued turtles are being rehabilitated at the Turtle Conservation and Education Center (TCEC) in Serangan, South Denpasar before they are released to the wild.

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