By Ni Komang Erviani
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has pledged to immediately stop the illegal slaughter of sea turtles on the island following international pressure.
“I will intensify coordination with the Bali Police to tightly supervise the possible illegal trading of sea turtles,” Pastika told journalists when visiting Warmadewa University in Denpasar on Thursday.
Pastika stressed that he completely supported efforts to protect the endangered species.
“Turtles are one of the few surviving prehistoric animals in modern times.”
During his term as Bali Police chief, Pastika frequently held raids confiscating illegally traded and trafficked turtles. Earlier this year, the police seized 33 sea turtles at Tanjung Benoa, while in 2012, the authorities foiled attempts to smuggle 220 sea turtles.
“I also visited food vendors selling turtle meat and implemented a crackdown on vendors.”
The smuggling and illegal trading of sea turtles onto the island has been longstanding to meet demand for turtle meat, a traditional food in Bali.
The Balinese also use turtle meat in several religious rituals as part of the offerings. However, since 2005, the powerful Indonesian Parishada Hindu Council (PHDI) confirmed that other meats, or images of the animals, could be used in place of the meat of endangered or protected animals, such as turtles and eagles. More....