Bali Hai Cruises, working with the villages of Kurma Asih, launched a turtle adoption and release program on July 7, 2009.
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Travel Agents, member of the press and turtle admirers who traveled on the Bali Hai II
to Nusa Lembongan on that date heard a presentation by Ketut Sarjana Putra, the Marine Program Director for Conservation International Indonesia
and a member of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group
, who told the participants about "best practice" in preserving Indonesia's endangered turtle population. With past efforts to save more turtles always plagued by a lack of funds, Ketut is hopeful that the donations from Bali Hai Cruises
and their future passengers will enable even more turtles to be saved and returned to the oceans.
Ketut Sarjana Putra calls the adoption of turtle nests by Bali Hai Cruises from the Kurma Asih a unique "Public-Private partnership for resilience of the community and nature."
After the presentation at Bali Hai's Beach Club, the adopters and their charges headed to Sunset Beach where the guests had the chance to participate in giving the "Gift of Life" by releasing their baby turtles back into the sea.
The participants eagerly watched the baby turtles instinctively head for the waves. Some turtle were momentarily tossed back by the waves, only to resolutely re-launch their march to the sea before eventually disappearing into the surf. Some of the guests memorialized their attachment with the turtles and nature by writing the name of their
sponsored turtle on the wristband distributed to every adoptive parent.
Turtles have been living on earth for 150 million years, dating from the time of the dinosaurs. However, fishing nets, pollution, global warming and coastal development now threaten these magnificent animals, making it necessary to take urgent steps to protect and conserve the turtles for future generations.
Mature sea turtles are large, air breathing reptiles that return to land to lay their eggs. Sexual maturity may not be reached until the age of 20 years. Research shows that turtles migrate thousands of miles in the course of a year and have been observed at water depths of up to 200 meters.
The unique conservation programs underway in Bali with Bali Hai Cruises
does more than merely help save the turtles. Villagers are also rewarded for the turtle eggs they bring into the safety of the hatchery, preserving them from dogs and other predators. The money paid to the villagers provides additional income. Later in the process, local people are also employed to take care of the hatchlings until they are eventually released back into the sea. The project is run under the supervision of Conservation International
who assure proper care while keeping detailed records for research.Bali Hai Cruise
is a local company committed to environmental sustainability. Over the past 18 years they have established the successful Lembongan Bay Marine Park,
conducted detailed reef surveys, and installed mooring buoys to reduce destruction to the reefs.
Participants on Bali Hai Cruises
program of popular daily cruises will be allowed to volunteer to become adoptive parents of a living environmental link with the past and the future Ė a baby turtle.Related Links
[Lembongan Island Beach Club Cruise
[Lembongan Island Reef Cruise
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