Indonesia: NTT Police nab protected turtle shells supplier

The Jakarta Post 8 Mar 16;

East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Police officers nabbed on Monday a supplier of endangered Hawksbill sea turtle shells, which sell for Rp 8 million (US$608) to Rp 20 million each.

Police spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Julens Abraham Abast said the perpetrator was caught carrying 335 turtle shells.

Julens said that as the turtle was listed as an endangered species, the perpetrator would be charged according to the 1990 law on natural resources, conservation and ecosystem and could face five years’ imprisonment.

The technical division head at NTT Natural Resources Office, Maman Surahman, said turtle shell sales had been increasing recently as the shells could be made into accessories. “There has to be continuous patroling and familiarization about the turtle’s importance to the marine ecosystem,” Maman said.

A fisherman, Lambertus Sarong, said that he never had heard of a regulation that banned the capture of protected species.

“We don’t know which species are protected and which are not,” he said.

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