ProFauna, a nonprofit organizations engaged in wildlife protection and forest, hand over 25 thousand international petition to the Governor of Bali with a request to take action against the illegal turtle trade.
“The petition shows the international community concern over rising circulation of illegal turtles in Bali,” said Coordinator of ProFauna Bali, Jatmiko Wiwoho on the sidelines of the petition handover that is performed in conjunction with a demonstration in front of the Office of the Governor of Bali, in Denpasar.
He stated that the petition compiled by a nonprofit organization caring for turtles SOS Sea Turtles and ProFauna through its website.www.change.org since March 2013. From 25 thousand petitions most of the countries are in America, Europe, and Australia.
“We hope that the Governor of Bali can do serious, concrete and thoroughly steps to crack down on the illegal trade so that the petitions don’t get any more addition. If it is allowed it will worsen the image of Bali tourism,” he said.
He worried that if the government does not respond well there will be emerging calls for anembargo of tourism in Bali that had ever sounded in 2000.
“The cases of illegal turtle trade in Tanjung Benoa some times ago tarnished the image of Bali as an area that care of turtles. If there is a campaign to boycott Bali tourism, then it would be very detrimental to the people of Bali,” he said.
According to him, although it has decreased, illegal turtle trade is still going on. In the last eight months there were four cases of smuggling of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) to the island with the total number of turtles is 83.
In May 2013 Profauna also reported to the Bali Police and the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) Bali about the information of smuggling turtle shells from Bali to Turkey. The turtle shell trade facts prove that the trade has still occur in more hidden way.
“Mainly ProFauna urge the government to take stern action against any trade of turtles and their parts that are happening in Bali, including tourist spots using live turtles as attractions. Places that can cause turtles to be stressful,” said Jatmiko.
Activists from ProFauna were welcomed by the Head of Bali Provincial Forestry Department I Gede Nyoman Wiranatha. He promised to follow up the petition presented by activists. “We will continue to provide guidance and strict supervision,” he said.
ProFauna activists in this action brought turtle shell-shaped posters with the words “Hentikan Pembunuhan Penyu” and “Stop Killing Sea Turtles.”