The Jakarta Post
A leatherback sea turtle was found dead off the coast of Asilulu village in Central Maluku regency, Maluku, on Saturday morning.
Iwan Asikin, the head of the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry’s maritime management division in Maluku, said the turtle was found dead by local fishermen.
“Fishermen Amin Mamang and Abu Nurlily found the 180-centimeter-long, 140-cm-wide turtle. But it had died before they found it. They then moved the carcass to shore,” Iwan said on Saturday.
He said the turtle was likely swept away by strong currents and may have been killed after colliding with hard objects, such as coral heads.
“We are investigating the cause of death further,” Iwan said, adding that Maluku Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) personnel buried the turtle near the BKSDA residential complex in Passo village, Baguala district, Ambon.
Leatherback sea turtles, known locally as penyu belimbing, are the world’s biggest turtles and the fourth-biggest reptiles after three species of crocodile.
In Indonesia, leatherback turtles are a protected marine species. They are considered endangered as their population has continued to decline over the years.
Last December, a 2.13-meter-long leatherback turtle weighing 213 kilograms was reportedly caught and killed by a resident of Sosorgadong district, Central Tanapuli regency, North Sumatra, as it was coming ashore to lay eggs. (rfa)