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Jakarta Post

Indonesia and Japan work together on sea turtle conservation

  • Elly Burhaini Faizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 8 2012   /  01:23 pm

Without solid conservation efforts, sea turtles will come to extinction very soon due to the rampant illegal wildlife trade and natural predators.

In Indonesia, two sea turtle species, the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), are critically endangered due to extensive hunting.

The population of Hawksbill turtle in the country has declined by 80 percent partly due to excessive exports of their carapaces to Japan, which began in the 1950s. Conditions deteriorated with illegal turtle egg gathering in the 1970s.

“For 29 years from 1961, Japan has imported carapaces taken from 200,000 Hawksbill turtles in Indonesia,” Everlasting Nature of Asia (ELNA) executive director, Hiroyuki Suganuma, told a recent discussion on the conservation of sea turtles held by the Japan Foundation.

During that time, Japan was faci...