7 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) seized by Bali Police were released back into the ocean on Kuta Beach on Tuesday, February 7, 2017, in an activity witnessed by the Chief of the Bali Police, General Petrus Reinhard Golose, and members of local environmental groups.
Also watching the release of the turtles were a large group of local tourists, some of whom joined in the activity of hoisting the reptiles back into the surf.
As reported by Beritabali.com, General Golose thanked the Bali Water Police (Polisi Air) for managing to save the turtles confiscated from local traders.
“They (the turtle smugglers) generally haul turtles in small numbers (10 or less) in order to ease the sales process. If they get caught, their losses are limited,” explained the Provincial Chief of Police. Continuing, Galose told how the turtles are sent directly to people who prepare turtle meat for human consumption.
“Another method,” explained Golose, “the turtle meat is sent after it has been butchered; a popular method that is hard to detect. The meat is placed in small packets and sent on buses making it very hard to find.”
The Police Chief described the recent seizure of turtles by Water Police as “only the tip of the iceberg,” in terms of the size of the illegal trade in turtles actually taking place in Bali and the rest of Indonesia.
General Golose called for public and official support in assisting the police to eliminate the trade in turtles that endangers the green turtle species.
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