Stop Sea Turtle Eggs Trades in East Borneo!

ProFauna Indonesia's activists and Turtle Foundation conducted a demonstration in Samarinda, East Borneo, in protests of the unchecked sea turtle eggs trades in the province (25/11/2013).  In the demonstration, which involved students and local environmental organizations, ProFauna highlighted the trade rate in East Borneo, particularly in Sangalaki island. ProFauna's monitoring results show that in one month there are roughly 10 ransacked nests in average. Each nest holds 50-100 eggs, which were then sold to Samarinda, Berau, and Balikpapan.

Surprisingly, the eggs traded are not all originated from around Sangalaki, but also from Southeast Sulawesi. In 2012, there were 5 forestalled smuggling attempts into East Borneo, all were from Southeast Sulawesi. In total, there were approximately 10.000 eggs confiscated during the operations. In Samarinda, each egg is worth IDR 10.000 at local markets.

The raging practice of illicit sea turtle eggs trade is triggered by many causes, and the most common one is the myth that consuming sea turtle eggs can increase one's physical stamina. ProFauna Indonesia's campaign officer, Bayu Sandi, said "Protein contained in sea turtle eggs are not so much different, or higher, than in chicken eggs. 13,04% of sea turtle egg is protein, while in chicken egg it is 11,80%. Meanwhile, this is what many people miss, the fat in sea turtle egg is twice higher than in chicken egg. This may increase the level of unhealthy cholesterol in the consumer's body."

ProFauna demo penyu di SamarindaThese past three years, ProFauna has recorded at least 13 cases of sea turtle and eggs trade in Indonesia. Most of the cases occurred in Bali and East Borneo. Ironically, the local government seems to pay no heed to the dealers, although all sea turtle species are protected by the law.  Bayu added, "Sea turtles and eggs trade is a crime, for it violates Law no. 5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Resources and Their Ecosystems. Thus, it is a must that we stop such illegal acts as soon and firm as possible."

Previously, in 2010 ProFauna Indonesia published a survey result on the prevalent sea turtle eggs trade in Borneo. ProFauna found that there were trading activities in 18 locations (62%) out of 29 visited locations. The report was then responded by the central government who issued the Circulation Letter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Indonesia no. 523.3/5228/SJ concerning the conservation of sea turtle and its habitat, and instructs all governors to coordinate with city mayors, chiefs of regencies, and related agencies to protect sea turtle by taking preventions, maintaining controls, enhancing law enforcement, and public edification in order to involve all walks of life in the conservation of sea turtle.  

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

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