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Group Delivers International Petitions To The Governor Of Bali To End Sea Turtle Trade

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BALI, Indonesia -- More than 25,000 people from various countries have signed the petition to force Indonesian government to resolve illegal sea turtle trades in Bali. The petition established by SOS Sea Turtles and ProFauna is delivered to the governor of Bali on 19 June 2013. The delivery was accompanied by a demonstration from ProFauna's activists who carried sea-turtles-shaped posters saying "stop killing sea turtles".

The campaign team was welcomed by several authorities from Bali Government office, among them are the Head of Forestry Department (Mr. Dewa Wiranatha), the Head of Fisheries Department (Mr. Made Gunaja), the Head of the Nature Conservation Agency, and Chief Deputy of Bali Police Department. In the dialogue with ProFauna, Mr. Wiranatha stated his support and will deliver the petition to the governor who in the meantime was in Jakarta. Mr. Gunaja added, "We will invite ProFauna to have another engagement to discuss the problem of sea turtle trades in Bali."

Even though the number has declined, illegal sea turtle trade is still underway in Bali. ProFauna has recorded four smuggling attempts of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), 83 sea turtles in total, to Bali in the past eight months. Most of those sea turtles was about to be sent to Tanjung Benoa, which since the 70s has been known as the center of sea turtle trades in Indonesia.

In May 2013, ProFauna also reported information on the smuggling of sea turtle scales from Bali to Turkey. The fact that such crime are still happening proves that illegal trades are not gone yet. Jatmiko Wiwoho, the coordinator of ProFauna Bali, said "ProFauna urges the government to put more concern in the sea turtle and their body part trades in Bali, including in the tourism objects that exploit sea turtles as tourist attraction."

The international demand from people in many countries should be more than enough to force Indonesian government to take this issue more seriously and find the solution immediately. If the government still would not take any action, a tourism boycott will be called like what happened in 2000. ProFauna's campaign officer, Bayu Sandi, added "The illegal sea turtle trades in Tanjung Benoa has defamed Bali as a save haven for sea turtles. If the tourism boycott is really called, it will be a great disadvantage for the people of Bali."

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