Trade of Sea Turtle Shell Accessories Still Rampant in Berau

Suvenir penyu sisik yang dijual di Tanjung Redeb

Souvenirs made from the shells of Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) can be found easily in Tajung Redeb, Berau, East Borneo. Monitoring conducted by Protection of Forest and Fauna (PROFAUNA) Borneo in September 2014 noted that there are at least 3 (three) souvenir shops selling hundreds of souvenirs made from the shells of Hawksbill sea turtle. The shells are made into necklaces, bracelets, rings, and keychains.

The souvenirs are sold in a variable price, between IDR 10,000-30,000 per item. Necklaces are sold for IDR 25,000, the rings for IDR 15,000, and the bracelets worth IDR 25,000-30,000.

Sea turtle trade, including its body parts like the shell or eggs, violates Law no. 5 of 1990 Concerning the Cnservation of Living Natural Resources and Its Ecosystem. "All sea turtle species is protected, so it is unlawful to trade them," explained Bayu Sandi, the coordinator of PROFAUNA Borneo.

 "Anoyone who trades sea turtle and its body parts is liable to 5 years of prison and IDR 100 million fines," Bayu added. Therefore, PROFAUNA is putting on great effort to encourage the authority to proceed PROFAUNA's finding.

PROFAUNA Borneo assumes that the shells are obtained from Derawan islands, a vast habitat for Hawksbill and Green sea turtles. "The population of Hawksbill sea turtle in Derawan islands is not as large as the Green sea turtle, which makes the smallest act of poaching would pose great impact for the whole population," concluded Bayu.

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