Bali police spokesman Senior Commissioner Hariadi said the turtles were found alive and seized from a boat docked off the coast on Sunday night. “Some of them are sick because of dehydration,” explained Soemarsono, head of the local government-run Nature Conservancy Agency.
The crew onboard escaped as police arrived. “We are still looking for the suspected smugglers,” said Hariadi.
Soemarsono said that the turtles weighed between 30 and 60 kilograms (65-130 pounds) and were worth between 5 million and 7 million Rupiah (about US$520-725) each.
Despite the fact that Indonesia has banned the trade and consumption of endangered turtles, smuggling of sea turtles into Bali is rampant, said Soemarsono. This is due to local demand, as turtle meat is considered a delicacy among the Balinese.
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.