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Good News for Turtles

Commerce in Protected Turtles Declines in Bali as Rules for Religious Ritual Change

(7/15/2012) The conservation group ProFauna estimates that the trade in endangered turtles in Bali has declined by 80%.

In 1999 the trade in turtles was estimated at 30,000 reptiles.

According to Beritabali.com, the chairman of ProFauna Indonesia for Bali, Jatmiko Wiwoho, credits a decision by the Bali Hindu High Council (PHDI) that declared, as a matter of religious doctrine, the role played by turtle meat in Balinese religious practice could now be substituted by other meats.

Now the main pressure on Indonesia’s turtle population stems from the use of turtle shells for souvenir production. Jatmiko said that while turtles were being killed for souvenirs or for their eggs, the consumption of turtles is now low because of the PHDI rulings that have removed the need for turtle meat from ceremonial menus.

Jatmiko said the turtles sold in Bali mainly come from East Java, Flores and local capture in Bali.

Jatmiko added that a trade in turtles continues in Bali, but because that trade takes pace in the form of turtle meat it is increasingly difficult to detect.

[Reptile Denial]