Berau: Sea Turtle Shell-Based Souvenirs Fell Off

The trade of sea turtle shell-based souvenirs in tanjung Redeb, Berau, East Borneo has been falling off. According to surveys conducted by Protection of Forest & Fauna (PROFAUNA) Borneo, in February 2015 there is only one shop who persists in selling souvenirs made from the shell of Hawksbill sea turtle.

Previously, there were six shops in Tanjung Redeb who sells souvenirs made from Hawksbill sea turtle's shell. The shells are made into rings, bracelets, and necklaces which are sold for IDR 10,000-70,000 per item.

The fact that such souvenirs have been traded openly in Tanjung Redeb for years has inspired PROFAUNA to take real actions like staging public campaigns and giving education for the general people, to tackle the illicit trade. PROFAUNA, partners with the Natural Resource Conservation Agency and the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Service, has been working proactively to curb the trade.

Our intensive efforts has brought out a good result. Today, only one out of the six shops (Pinky Shop) that still insists on selling sea turtle shell-based souvenirs. The other shops (Basinang, Gareng, Kalimaru Corner, Puri, and Dayak Jet Shops) have stopped the illegal trade as the owners have come to understand the consequences if they keep on selling the souvenirs.

The coordinator of PROFAUNA Borneo, Bayu Sandi, said "We really appreciate the authority who has followed up PROFAUNA's reports concerning the illegal trade of sea turtle shell-based souvenirs. This is a positive progress for the conservation of sea turtle in Berau."

The trade of sea turtles and its body parts (shell, eggs, etc.) is strongly prohibited by the law.

"The law no.5 of 1990 clearly mentions that anybody who sells protected wildlife species, including sea turtles, and its body parts is liable to 5 years of prison and IDR 100 million fines," concluded Bayu.

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

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