Out of the seven sea turtle species in the world, six of them inhabit the waters of Indonesia. All of them are either vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. However, local Balinese and tourists are hoping to change that with education, law changes, and the help of the Bali Sea Turtle Society.
Bali faces many problems, including litter, beach erosion, and traffic jams. It also has a struggling sea turtle population that faces threats of its own. For every turtle that comes ashore to lay its eggs, it either becomes food or has its eggs stolen, swept away, crushed by beachgoers, or dug up by dogs.
While turtle killing, catching, or possession has been illegal since 1999, that still doesn’t stop poachers from selling the meat. It is still sold freely in many restaurants as well.
The processing of a turtle for sale is gruesome and inhumane. The turtle is butchered alive to stop the meat from sticking to the shell, and it takes around ten minutes. The butcher will cut off the flippers, separate the shell and meat, then remove the heart – often still beating.
This act of cruelty, coupled with the declining numbers, has meant authorities are cracking down. Raids are catching people in the act, and both smugglers and vendors are getting harsh penalties for selling and possessing turtles.Read more