The Revival of Sea Turtle Shell-based Souvenirs in Berau

Souvenirs and accessories made from the shell of Hawksbill sea turtles in Tanjung Redeb, Berau regency, East Borneo is on the rise. Monitoring conducted by Protection of Forest & Fauna (PROFAUNA) during June 2015 found more than 700 of such souvenirs sold in a shop in Aji Dilayas and 2 other shops in Tanjung Redeb. They consist of bracelets, pendants, and rings, and worth Idr 10,000-70,000 per item.

Besides those souvenirs, PROFAUNA also found sea turtle eggs sold in Aji Dilayas market. The increasing trend of sea turtle shell-based souvenirs and eggs is alarming because previously in February 2015 the trend already showed some decrease.

"Sea turtle trade, including its body parts, violates the law. Firm action must be taken by the government to prevent the trade from getting more widespread," stated Bayu Sandi, the coordinator of PROFAUNA Borneo.

According to Law no.5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Natural Resource and Its Ecosystem, anyone who the trades protected species such as sea turtles are liable to 5 years of prison and IDR 100 million fines.

Students of Berau Care for Sea Turtles

edukasi Profauna di sekolah BerauThe rising number of the trade of sea turtle body parts in Berau encourages PROFAUNA to work hard on educating the young people so that they would not buy sea turtle products. During January-June 2015, PROFAUNA has visited 14 schools and pesantrens (Islamic boarding school) in berau.

The education program has shown positive result. Several students later voluntarily submitted their sea turtle shell-based souvenirs. In May 2015, PROFAUNA received 11 souvenirs submitted by students of SMA (senior high school) Muhammadiyah, SMAN 1 berau, SMP (junior high school) PGRI, and SMP Al Ihsan. We then handed over the souvenirs to the Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Berau.

 "The concern of these young people of Berau is important, because they are going to be the next in charge of conserving sea turtle sin Berau," said Bayu Sandi.

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ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats