Turtle Conservation in Bali, Serangan Island
Posted 10 July 2008 - 11:25 PM
The four fundamental aspects to the centre include putting a definitive end to turtle trade, by encouraging the public not to consume turtle products (religious use or otherwise), and to generally support turtle conservation; providing turtles for rituals - without their killing - and monitoring turtle size and numbers, so that their use can be strictly controlled and regulated; offering employment opportunities for locals from Serangan; and finally, acting as a watchdog for turtle trade - in Serangan in particular and Bali in general.
Along with Tanjung Benoa village, Serangan island have for decades been the largest black market for the sea turtle meat and products, as well as a home base for hundreds of turtle poacher's ships that sail as far as Derawan in East Kalimantan and the Bird Head of Papua regions. So massive was the trade and poaching that they had not only destroyed the sea turtle population around Bali but also inflicted a devastating ecological impact on various regions in Indonesia.
On its heyday up to the year of 2000, the massive business could ship over 30,000 turtles per year onto the island. A combination of adaptive strategies, fine- tuned advocacy and relentless down-to-earth community empowerment programs carried out by WWF and the local authority of Bali in recent years, have not only managed to significantly reduce the number of trafficked turtles but also to mobilize growing support from the local, thus, gradually alienating the big turtle traders.
The Centre's conservation reach extends over to the neighbouring island of Java, where efforts are under way to protect a major nesting beach that is regularly pilfered by turtle egg traders. Some of the Centre's shelled residents hatched right here, their nests safely relocated from Java. Of these, some will be released when they have reached 40 cm or so in length, while others will be provided for religious ceremonies - without being killed. For better or worse, the trajectory of Serangan remains tightly intertwined to the fate of marine turtles. But out of a shell-shocked tourism industry, teetering turtle populations, and the goodwill and enthusiasm of Serangan people who care, something quite beautiful indeed #could emerge.
* Potential in bold as this is where TCEC is right now..
# Like they put it.. 'could' emerge. We're not there quite yet
Ok, these are the words from WWF Indonesia whom have sponsored the Bali Turtle Conservation and Education Centre in Recent years. They write it has been around since 2006 but i was told by Pak Geria who manages the place that they've been operational for about 4 years. He also mentioned that WWF Indonesia has not sponsored them financially this year and he that the local government does not sponsor them with that much either anymore. At the moment it seems TCEC have to rely on private and commercial donations. The place has great potential if you ask me. It can turn into a wonderful little place, similar to a Zoo or Aquarium, where (if properly commercialized) and marketed could benefit the Turtle Conservation quite substantially.
At the moment it's hard to find your way there. No signs from the main-roads into Serangan Island or anywhere on the way while riding the Serangan roads. About 200 meters before you reach the TCEC compound you see an old sign to the left of the road. I wasn't sure i was gonna find it after about 10 minutes drive.. which is a bad sign considering how small Serangan Island is.
Here's my personal advice on how to get there: Turn left from By Pas to the Serangan Island road, Go straight, after passing the entry fee post follow the road to the left and keep going on that road. The road will turn like a half-moon to the right with the harbour/mangrove to the left and houses to the right. Eventually after reach more desolate areas you will spot a sign saying 'Turtle Conservation'. Keep going a couple of hundred meters and you'll spot the Turtle Centre to the right.
At the Center they have a Nursery, Saltwater water-pools for small turties, a couple of buckets with sand where they put the newly born before putting them in the water, a couple of 2 to 4 year old turtles. The have also recently constructed a large pool for the bigger turtles tastefully shaped like a turtle. They also have a small warung/dining place where you can buy t-shirts and some turtle related items, books, souveniers etc. The standard is quite low and there alot of work on improvements to be done to raise the standard a few notches. At the moment it is not organized for the public in any particular way. No opening hours, fee's etc. As WWF mentioned.. the place has potential but it will take more money and effort to get it there. I discussed various options of how to give TCEC more exposure, how and where to start and that they should not be afraid to ask for foreign assistance or input. I think this place would be awesome with proper investments, management and marketed towards tourists! The most important thing is that the turtles are happy and that money can flow into the Conservation and Educational activities hand in hand with the cost for commercial exposure and management.
Turtle Grub being cut up
Small bits for the small turties
One of the young turtle pools - 'Tukik' is turtle-baby in Balinese
Pak Geria and Pak Gita
New born turtle babies
Another pool with lots of youngsters
They breed 3 or 4 different species as you can see in these following pictures
I believe this was a one year old
Look at the patterns on this one!
Here's a 4 year old turtle which was born with a defect. They tried to release it a couple of times but it can't make it on it's own. I believe this one might become a permanent resident, hopefully in the bigger pool.
Some where easier than others to take pictures of. This one was abit shy..
One of the bigger turtles. I think it was called green turtle. 4 years old. Just a baby in other words as they can reach ages up to 100 years.. if not more.
I enjoyed when some of the bigger turtles surfaced and made noises with their mouths
Here's a playful fellah making more powerful turns
This was one of my favorites. One of the biggest ones with a more whiteish tone to it's shell and body.
Arms streched out in the sunlight
A little baby i picked up. Some of them floated around (almost looked dead) but they might've been tired or conserving energy.. or just doing what turtles do best.. floating around!
Another baby, when you put your hand in the water they all gather up and start to bite gently, probably thinking it's food or i'm bringing them food
The 'big white' gets bigger bits
Here are the nesting grounds for the turtle eggs, many of them being brought here from Buleleng i'm told.
Hatched eggs and possibly also eggs gone bad. Hatching-rate is about 60-70% which means about one third dies before being hatched.
The almost finished pool for the bigger turtles. Nice design!
Took a quick snap of some of the boat on the harbour side at lowtide. On the way back home after this little adventure.
In 3 days (13th of July) there will be a turtle release at Serangan Island. We start at 16.00 in the afternoon and if i remember it correctly each person who wish to release a turtle will have to contribute 50.000 or 150.000 rp's to the Conservation Centre. Pak Geria thought it was 50.000 rp's but i could've sworn i read 150.000 rp's in Bali Advertizer where TCEC got a free ad-spot before this event. Anyone eager to support these wonderful creatures and TCEC feel free to drop by Serangan Island on the 13th at 16.00!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures of these wonderous creatures! They need you and me!
PUSAT PENDIDIKAN DAN KONSERVASI PENYU
(Turtle Conservation and Education Center / TCEC Serangan Island - Bali)
TCEC Lingkungan Ponjok Serangan
Denpasar, 80229, Bali - Indonesia
Drs. I Wayan Geria +62-0361-8577881
I Wayan Sukara +62-081.353.056382
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home
Posted 11 July 2008 - 07:08 PM
Re-checked that Ad and it's 60.000 rp's to release a little Tukik!
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home
Posted 12 July 2008 - 12:29 PM
And no lovers ever been in love, and not been hurt
No dreamer's ever dreamed, and seen it all come true
In the end you find the things that count, are up to me and you
Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:52 AM
The poor little defected tukik....my heart goes out to him....his eyes are so descriptive!
Also loved the last picture shot of the sky and harbor...very nice.
Is this something that people can do at anytime or only on specific dates each year? I'm sure that you can still contribute money at any time though...I would love to check this out on my next trip.
Had you heard of this previously or just saw the ad in the advertiser and decided to check it out?
Decide what you want to be, do and have...think the thoughts of it, emit the frequency and your vision will become your life.