The Illegal Trade of Sea Turtle Egg in Kalimantan

The Illegal Trade of Sea Turtle Egg in KalimantanThere are six species of sea turtles found in Indonesian waters, including the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), flatback turtle (Natator depressus) and loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). All species of sea turtles are protected under the wildlife act Number 5 year 1990 on Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems and Government Regulation Number 7 year 1999.

Despite being protected by law, in many cities in Kalimantan, the illegal trade of sea turtle egg still occurs. The species of sea turtle eggs mostly traded are the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate). Furthermore, the turtle eggs are also smuggled from Kalimantan to Malaysia.

ProFauna Indonesia's investigation supported by the Humane Society International and the Born Free Foundation held between May and August 2010, shows that the trade in turtle eggs still happens openly in Kalimantan. Of the visited 29 sites on Borneo Island, in 18 locations (62%) of them, the turtle egg trade was found. The illegal trade in the Island not only takes places in big cities but also in small towns. The findings also prove that West Kalimantan is the province which has the most number of sea turtle egg locations, 10 locations (56%); followed by South Kalimantan in 5 locations (28%); East Kalimantan in 2 locations (11%); and Central Kalimantan in 1 location (5%).

It is estimated that within one month there were about 100,000 turtle eggs traded on the entire island. Several big cities in Kalimantan like Pontianak, Banjarmasin, and Samarinda become the hubs of the trade. Samarinda, East Kalimantan, is recorded as the city that has a the most turtle egg traders.

Prices of turtle eggs sold in Kalimantan vary, ranging from 1,500 IDR (or 0.15 USD; 1 USD = 10,000 IDR) to 8,000 IDR (0.8 USD) per item. The average price is 3,500 IDR (0.35 USD) each. ProFauna estimates that the trade value could reach 4.2 billions IDR (420,000 USD) per year.

Film about sea turtle egg trade in Kalimantan can be found at the following link: Sea Turtle eggs trade in Kalimantan

The sea turtle eggs traded in Kalimantan besides come from the beaches in Kalimantan itself, traders also get supplied from other island or islands, like: Midai, Serasan, Natuna, South Sulawesi, and Sembilan. Ironically, Sembilan island is a protected nature reserves where authorities should not let such illegal trade happen.

According to the law of the Republic of Indonesia, the trade of sea turtle eggs is illegal. In the wildlife act number 5 year 1990, it is stated that the trafficking perpetrators of protected species including sea turtle eggs are liable to imprisonment of 5 years and fine of 100 millions IDR (10,000 USD). Unfortunately, sea turtle egg trade is still happening rampantly in Kalimantan. Furthermore, most of the traders are aware of the illegal activities. Governments and law enforcement authorities should take immediate action to stop the illegal trade of sea turtle eggs.

Help ProFauna Stop the Illegal Trade of Sea Turtle Eggs

Turtle egg trade is illegal and criminal. Help us stop the turtle egg trade by sending a letter to the Indonesian government to encourage them to curb the trade in Kalimantan. Please send your letter to:

Zulkifli Hasan, Menteri Kehutanan

Gedung Manggala Wanabakti Blok I Lt. 3
Jalan Gatot Subroto - Senayan - Jakarta - Indonesia - 10270
Telp. +62-21-5704501-04; +62-21-5730191
Email: dan

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