TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

W. Kalimantan declares 'extraordinary event' over sea turtle deaths

  • Severianus Endi

    The Jakarta Post

Pontianak   /   Mon, April 9, 2018   /   06:55 pm
W. Kalimantan declares 'extraordinary event' over sea turtle deaths Officials carry the carcass of an adult sea turtle found dead on Paloh beach in Sambas regency, West Kalimantan on April 7. (Courtesy of WWF Indonesia West Kalimantan Program/-)

Eleven rare sea turtles were found dead among plastic litter on Paloh beach in Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, between Saturday and Monday, prompting the provincial administration to declare an "extraordinary event".

Autopsies conducted by local authorities on five of the turtles found plastic and asphalt sludge in their digestive systems.

Asphalt sludge discovered inside one of several sea turtles found dead on Paloh beach in Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on April 7.Asphalt sludge discovered inside one of several sea turtles found dead on Paloh beach in Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on April 7. (Courtesy of WWF Indonesia West Kalimantan Program/-)

The asphalt sludge had caused food blockage, resulting in inflammation and eventual death, Dwi Suprapti, the marine species conservation coordinator at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia, said at a press conference in Pontianak on Monday. Dwi did not rule out the possibility of other waste having caused the deaths.

West Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency head Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta said the turtles' death constituted an extraordinary event. He added that he would deploy his staff to investigate and prevent further deaths.

The 63-kilometer long Paloh coastline is Indonesia's longest sea turtle nesting beach. According to WWF data, five green, two hawksbill and three olive ridley sea turtles were found dead between February and March. The 11 latest deaths included one critically endangered hawksbill.

The 21 sea turtle deaths is the highest number the WWF has recorded in the nine years it has worked in the area. (evi)