Illegal Trading of Sea Turtle Eggs on Facebook Thwarted by Indonesian Authority

A resident of Morowali Regency, Central Sulawesi has been named as a suspect for illegal trading of sea turtle eggs on Facebook.

NusantaraPol - Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) managed to thwart the sale and purchase of sea turtle eggs carried by an owner of Facebook account 'SDM' on a Facebook group.

The sea turtle egg is one of the protected marine animal objects, and the trade of such objects is prohibited by Indonesian laws.

"The Morowali Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision Team (PSDKP) succeeded in thwarting the online sale and purchase of protected sea turtle eggs," said the Director-General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision, Rear Admiral TNI Adin Nurawaluddin, who confirmed the incident.

Lepidochelys olivacea
Lepidochelys olivacea hatchling. Source: Wikimedia.

In a press statement received by InfoPublik on Thursday (5/5/2022), Adin explained that "AK" a resident of Wosu Village, Bungku City, Morowali Regency, Central Sulawesi, who is the owner of a Facebook account 'SDM' has been named a suspect. 

The perpetrator's actions to trade eggs of protected animals were successfully thwarted on Monday (25/4/2022).

“Our team managed to secure the turtle eggs before they were sold by the suspect. We will then return the eggs to their habitat so they can breed, "said Adin.

It is further said that the illegal trade of protected marine animals is now increasingly being conducted on social media platforms and e-commerce marketplaces. Although several platforms have implemented bans on illegal trade services, up to now, protected marine animals are still being traded on these platforms.

"From the findings of this case, we will implement a surveillance strategy by intensifying the monitoring of buying and selling activities using social media and e-commerce marketplaces," said Adin.

Furthermore, it was added that the ministry encourages community collaboration with active users of social media and e-commerce marketplaces to report the existence of illegal trading activities of protected marine animals.

"We encourage the public using social media and e-commerce marketplaces to immediately report to us if they find uploads of buying and selling protected marine animals on the platform," said Adin.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries also intensively implements public education programs related to the prohibition of trade in protected animals, especially for former perpetrators, so that they do not re-offend.

Six of the seven species of sea turtles in the world are found in Indonesian waters. They are Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta), and Flatback Sea Turtle (Natator depressa).

Previously, the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KP), Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, had reiterated the strict prohibition of the trade of protected marine animals because it is against Indonesia's blue economy policy for the development of marine and fishery resources. In addition, Government Regulation Number 7 of 1999 concerning Preservation of Plant and Animal Species prohibits the trade of sea turtles, dead or alive. The same regulation also banned the sale and purchase of sea turtles' body parts.