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Hawksbill Trade in Indonesia

By ProFauna Indonesia

This investigation is funded by World Society for the Protection of Animals



Ofsetan penyu sisik yang dijual sebagai cinderamataOfsetan penyu sisik yang dijual sebagai cinderamata


Indonesia with the latitude along 81.000 km and consist about more than 17.000 islands has become home for six of eight sea turtles species in the world. Species identified to live in Indonesia is green turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and flatback (Natator depressus).

All of sea turtle species in Indonesian waters have been protected under UU No. 5 of 1990 about Conservation of Nature Resource and its Ecosystem and PP No.7 in 1999 about Conservation on species of Fauna and Flora. According to the act the commercial use of sea turtles and its parts are forbidden and its violators will be charged for the penalty of maximum 5 years prison. All the sea turtle species are included on the appendix listing of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna) this means that international trade on sea turtles is forbidden.

Although has been explained to be protected animals, the trade of sea turtles and its part is continually exist. The use of sea turtle in Indonesia divided into some variations namely the use of its meat and its eggs for meal consumption, carapace/shell for handicraft materials, and the oil for traditional medicine. The green turtle usually taken for its meat, eggs and its oil while hawksbill turtle besides taken for its eggs, it is taken for its carapace in order to use as the material of handicraft because its carapace poses specific and interested motif.

The use sea of turtle never considers the conservation aspect of sea turtle in nature. Every year, thousand of sea turtles are harvested in order to meet the market demand. Special for green turtles, in 1999 ProFauna Indonesia noted more than 27.000 sea turtles species slaughtered in order to take its eat. However, trade on other sea turtles in Indonesia such as hawksbill is relatively low comparing to the info about green turtles.

Hawksbill turtle that includes in family of Chelonidae is one of the most interesting turtles for people because it has unique and attractive motif if it is used for handicraft. The carapace of hawksbill turtle or in English it is commonly said tortoiseshell or bekko in Japanese can be created into various somewhat exotic souvenirs for most people view. Hawksbill spread around Indonesia start from Banyak Island in Aceh until Selayang Island in Irian Jaya (Murdiyarso, 2001).

Though many data revealing cases of hawksbill trade in Indonesia either for domestic or export behalf but up to the present time there is no up date information about activity of hawksbill trade. The last data about hawksbill trade is in 1987 when there is approximately 44,411 kg of bekko from Indonesia successfully sent to Singapore before sent to Japan (Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987). On the other hand, in 1988 Greenpeace finds more than 12 ton of 20.000 adults and young hawksbills in Makassar South Sulawesi (Greenpeace International, 1989).

In September 2001 until July 2002, ProFauna Indonesia sends its investigation team to collect the latest data about hawksbill trade in Indonesia. During the 10 months of investigation funded by World Society for the Protection of Animals, ProFauna visited all locations supposed to have relation to hawksbill trade. This investigation is divided into 10 areas such as Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bali, East Java, Riau Island-Sumatera, Madura, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Flores and Sulawesi. Together with Japan Wildlife Conservation Society (JWCS), ProFauna Indonesia also collects data of international trade on hawksbill.

Trade on Hawksbill Product: Range from Rings until Accessories Box

Trade on Hawksbill Product: Range from Rings until Accessories BoxHundreds of rings, bracelets, and necklaces displayed at one of the silver accessories shop in Kotagede, Yogyakarta looks attractive, exotic and rise the eastern atmosphere. At a glance view the accessories looks like it is made of buffalo horn. But it is none of buffalo horn; it is made from l carapace or pieces of carapace of hawksbill that lives in the sea, far away from Kotagede Yogyakarta. Hawksbill is not husbandry buffalo. Hawksbill is reptile its existence is threatened to extinct and at the same time protected by law.

It is a few descriptions about the situation of the existence of trade on souvenir made from hawksbill that is not only happen in Kotagede Yogyakarta but also in many other places in Indonesia. Along the year of 2001 to 2002, ProFauna Indonesia investigator has visited more than 40 souvenir shops in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Makassar, and Bali. From those 40 shops, 32 of them proven to sell souvenir made of hawksbill carapace. This is ironic because actually hawksbill has been protected since 1992, means that it is forbidden to be traded including its parts such as its carapace and its eggs.

The central trading of hawksbill products in Indonesia is in Yogyakarta. This well known city for its attractive culture, the hawksbill products are freely traded around Malioboro and Kotagede areas. Most of the product is combined with silver. Malioboro which is the central of tourism in Yogyakarta become ideal location for souvenir trade especially the product made from hawksbill parts. One of shops selling almost all kinds of souvenirs made from hawksbill carapace is Toko 55 (55 shop). In this shop, many kind of souvenir made from hawksbill sold here namely bracelets, hair combs, matches, and accessories boxes. Besides 55 Shop, other souvenirs made from hawksbill are sold in Menang Shop, Malioboro Mall, and Ramai Mall. The shop keeper fairly said that the materials of the souvenirs are made from hawksbill carapace.

The trade of products made from hawksbill in Malioboro Yogyakarta is not only sold among shops but by the sidewalk trader as well. In October 2001 visit ProFauna Indonesia investigator noted more than 350 souvenirs made from hawksbill carapace are traded around the Malioboro Street. Most of the traders of hawksbill products along Malioboro Street admit that the products are obtained from Kotagede.

Kotagede, the central trade of sea turtle product

Kotagede, the central trade of sea turtle productKotagede is about 30 minutes from Yogyakarta play the important role in business trade of hawksbill products in Indonesia. Kotagede is known as the central silver and hawksbill handicraft. In this city there are many shops sell souvenirs made from hawksbill carapace. In October 2001 ProFauna Investigator noted 13 shops selling silver products as well as hawksbill products. Most of the shop concentrated at Kemasan Street.

Most of the shops selling silver in Kotagede also exported their products to several countries in Asia and Europe. But they admit that they do not export the products contains hawksbill parts because it has been forbidden by Indonesian law. However, they sell the products made of hawksbill carapace for domestic demand. ProFauna Indonesia noted more than 1300 souvenir of hawksbill sold at shops selling silver in Kotagede. This number is much higher than those sold at Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta.

The plenty number of souvenir made from hawksbill turtle sold in Kotagede is not surprising because in Kotagede there is hawksbill craft industry supplies many shops in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, and Bali. At this time in Kotagede there are two hawksbill craftsmen name Siswo Darsono and Pur Gepeng. The first previous name is the most known craftsman in Kotagede.

Darsono’s specification is making souvenir made from hawksbill carapace. Previously Darsono had ever been trying to use others material from other kind of sea turtles besides hawksbill but the result is not as good as the one made from hawksbill because the motif and its thickness is not as attractive as those hawksbill products.

Darsono has been very serious in managing his handicraft business since 16 years ago. He has production room equipped with complete tools and some employees work for him. The stockpiles in Darsono place is suppose to be more than enough to create into several kinds of souvenirs such as box accessories, bracelets, hair clips, hair combs, fans and ashtrays. Darsono can spend 20 kg hawksbill carapace to create many kind of souvenirs during a month.

The raw materials from hawksbill or bekko are supplied from Klaten, Bali, Sulawesi, Surabaya, and Kangean. Bali becomes important place while talking about hawksbill trade in Indonesia. ProFauna Indonesia investigation in 1999 shows about 27.000 sea turtles has been slaughtered in Bali. The green turtles are taken for the meat but the hawksbill is taken for its carapace used as the raw materials for souvenirs such as happen in Kotagede Yogyakarta.

Hawksbill business in Yogyakarta shows a correlation with Bali. Bali becomes one of supplier raw material of hawksbill carapace and the ready stock of souvenir from that raw material will be distributed back to Bali. ProFauna Indonesia thinks that it is important for the government should monitor and enforcing the strict measure toward sea turtle trade in Bali.

Darsono admit that he also ready to export souvenir made of hawksbill parts to several countries such as Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand. Darsono admits he does not directly export the products but he uses distributor in Bali.

Besides Darsono, in Kotagede there are also handicraft industries in smaller scale such as Haji Marsudi and Mrs. Rini. These industries only rely on orders from souvenir shops in Kotagede. But Darsono intensively produces souvenirs from hawksbill carapace.

Trade on souvenir contains hawksbill parts also continue happen in Kuwel, Klaten, and Central Java. One of central craft industries made from hawksbill carapace in Kuwel is Berdikari Shop owned by Sriyati. In Sriyati shop there are hundreds souvenir contains hawksbill carapace. She also has a show room at Sarinah Palaza on the third floor Jakarta. Most of the souvenir supplied from South Sulawesi.

Bali and Sea Turtle Trade

After the confiscation operation on sea turtle in July 2001, the sea turtle trade in Bali has declined significantly. It is the result of the penalty towards turtle trader including “king of sea turtle” Wewe for 1 year prison. However, it does not mean that trade on sea turtle in Bali has stopped at all from Bali. Most of the holding pens in Tanjung Benoa have closed, but the sea turtle trade still continually happens secretly. During the visits done by ProFauna Indonesia in 2002, the ProFauna investigator still found sea turtle slaughters in Tanjung Benoa.

Anti Turtle Trade Demonstration in Kuta Beach, October 2004Anti Turtle Trade Demonstration in Kuta Beach, October 2004

The evidence of sea turtle trade in Bali flourishing significantly by the arrestment of ship carrying sea turtles in 7 October 2002 on Karangasem Beach in Bali. The motorboat KM Taruna Jaya was arrested because it carrying 114 green turtle (Chelonia mydas) from South Sulawesi intently shipped to Tanjung Benoa.

In 2003 marine police of Bali succeed to confiscate 499 green turtles smuggled to Bali. In 4 June 2003 the water police of Bali, BKSDA Bali and helped by ProFauna Indonesia also conducted an action in Tanjung Benoa, but at this moment one of the ProFauna activist was attacked by the people including in sea turtle trade in Tanjung Benoa that caused the failure on this operation.

The turtle captured by Marine Police of Bali will be release in Kuta BeachThe turtle captured by Marine Police of Bali will be release in Kuta Beach

Base on the investigation from January-September 2004 it is found 3000 green turtle traded in Bali. The total numbers of green turtle secured by marine police of Bali in 2004 are 268 green turtles and 28 of dried turtle chest (plastron) as the raw material for turtle crackers. In 2005 Polres (area police) Karangasem again successfully confiscated 9 green turtle smuggled by a police from Lombok NTB. This turtle was carried by public transportation from Lombok and across Bali by KMP Gading Nusantara, and then he was arrested in Padang Bai Port, Karangasem.

ProFauna Investigation about hawksbill turtle in Yogyakarta and Sulawesi has stronger the opinion that Bali becomes most important place for turtle trade. Bali send hawksbill carapace to Yogyakarta in order to create some forms of souvenirs. Bali also becomes one of the locations of souvenir made from hawksbill carapace.

In Pudut Island or known as Deluangsari in Tanjung Benoa area, there are several shops sell souvenir made from hawksbill. The souvenir besides locally produced in Bali also comes from Java. In this tourism area there are more than 3 holding pens for tourism destination. There are hundreds of turtle placed in these illegal holding pens. Control toward this holding pens is weak, there is no guarantee that the turtles kept in that place will not be slaughtered in order to take its meat.

In Denpasar Bali, there are 4 shops selling hawksbill souvenir namely Budiartha and Putra Bali stalls located at Kumbasari market, Sanjaya Shop and Artshop Mega located in Gajahmada Street No. 36 Denpasar. In Kuta ProFauna Investigator found that there are 4 shops selling products of handicraft made from hawksbill carapace in big quantity, namely Cobra Silver, Rensy’s Artshop, Nadya Silver, and Tangkas Collection. In these shops ProFauna Indonesia notes more than 560 souvenirs made from hawksbill parts sod here.

On 6 May 2003 BKSDA Bali and Polda Bali cooperated with ProFauna Indonesia conducting law enforcement by confiscating souvenir contains hawksbill part in Kuta and Denpasar. In that join operation thousands souvenir made from hawksbill has been successfully confiscated and burnt. The second operation was done in 4 June 2003 at a accessories shop in Sulawesi Street in Denpasar. In this operation hundreds of souvenir made from hawksbill has also successfully confiscated. Up to this moment, the souvenir made from hawksbill almost never found openly in Bali.

On the other hand near to Bali Island, there is continually practice of stuffed hawksbill. The locations are along Pasir Putih Beach Situbondo, East Java. The craftsmen of the stuffed hawksbills are from Raas Madura and also from Bali.

Sold at Supermarket

Jakarta city s citizen of Indonesian Republic cannot be parted from business of transaction of souvenir made from hawksbill. Trading of souvenir happen at supermarket such as Sarinah Plaza and Pasaraya Grande. At Sarinah Plaza there are 3 stalls sell many kind of handicraft made from hawksbill part located on the third floor. The three counters selling handicraft from hawksbill are Berdikari (owned by Sriati from Klaten), Dewi Sri Handicraft, and Ria. At Sarinah Plaza in June 2002 there are more than 360 souvenirs made from hawksbill, such as bracelet, bird cages, rings, hair clips, accessories box and hair combs.

Berdikari shop located in Sarinah Plaza intensively selling souvenir made from hawksbill parts. This fact can be seen from the shipment receipt of products as filmed by ProFauna Indonesia investigator. The souvenirs are supplied from Klaten, Central Java.

On the other side in Pasaraya Grande, there are 3 counters selling large quantity products made from hawksbill parts. Those three counters are Cipto Rukmi Handicraft, Perak Elisa, and MH Silver. Most of the souvenirs are supplied from Yogyakarta.

In Jakarta ProFauna Indonesia tried to disclose trade of hawksbill. A groub of people deeply involve in business of trade of wildlife parts formed a kind of association names Pondok Asri. This ascociation bases in Kemang Raya Street Jakarta. In 4th July 2002 ProFauna Investigator visited this house and was met by Hidayat and a man introduced himself as Kholil and Nyoman Mupu. Hidayat is a shop employee of handicraft leather at Pasaraya Grande Jakarta. These three men admit that they used to trade hawksbill carapace. They kept large number of hawksbill carapace stockpile for 150 kg. The carapaces are obtained from Sulawesi and Sidempuan Sumatera.

Trade on Hawksbill in Makassar still Exist

Around 1980’s Ujung Pandang port (know famous as Makassar) identified as the main port in Indonesia since it becomes the gate for export of hawksbill products. Salm (1984) in Greenpeace report noted that since 1978, about 55% (593 ton) of export of products from hawksbill are shipped from Ujung Pandang.

Greenpeace (1990) reported around 15 companies in Makassar exported hawksbill products. In 2001, 10 years after the Greenpeace report ProFauna Indonesia Investigator with JWCS visited all the companies but only two companies exist. The two companies are Mutiara Mas and CV Sumber Nusantara. However, the companies are nom longer exporting hawksbill. Now they just concentrate to export sea stuffs such as shark fin.

The hawksbill trade in Makassar is not 100 percent closed. Along the handicraft shops in Makassar selling souvenirs made from hawksbill. Most of the shops are concentrated in Somba Opu Street Makassar, such as Indonesia Shop, Keradjinan Shop, and Sentra Keradjinan Shop. Ironically, in Patimura, Makassar Airport area, there is shop sells souvenir made from hawksbill.

In Makassar, ProFauna Indonesia noted there are 150 souvenirs made from hawksbill are traded. Kind of souvenirs are varying range from bracelets, brooches, ship miniatures, rings, until sstuffed hawksbill. The entire souvenirs sold in Makassar are local product though most of the craftsmen are from Java.

The Average souvenirs contains Hawksbill Parts traded in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bali, and Makassar (in rupiah-Rp)

No Jenis Yogyakarta Jakarta Bali Makasar
1. Ring (without silver) 7.000 - 2.000 3.000
2. Ring (with silver) 75.000 90.000 - -
3. Plain bracelet 30.000 30.000 30.000 10.000
4. Matches 20.000 - 15.000 -
5. Hair comb 9.000 50.000 - 90.000
6. Body belt 35.000 - 45.000 5.000
7. Unseal envelope knife 12.500 - 10.000 -
8. Accessories box 30.000 70.000 50.000 -
9. Hair clip 10.000 40.000 30.000 100.000
10. Hair stick 7.500 45.000 20.000 45.000
11. Fork 7.500 40.000 5.000 -
12. Fan 55.000 75.000 - 75.000
13. Ashtray 45.000 80.000 - -
14. Necklace 70.000 50.000 - 30.000
15. Ship miniature 500.000 300.000 - 80.000
16. Brooch 30.000 45.000 - 10.000
17. Earring - - 35.000 -
18. Stuffed hawksbill - - - 30.000

Hawksbill Capture does not stop

Fate of hawksbill is the same as green turtle. They are hunt and then slaughtered. Only the use is different. Green turtle is hunt for its meats while hawksbill is hunt for its carapace as the raw material for souvenirs. They have same fate, being slaughtered although protected by law. The weak law enforcement becomes one of the trigger of the existence of business in hawksbill trade, while many turtles have disappear.

The business of souvenir trade made from hawksbill turtle concentrated in Yogyakarta has stimulated the intensive capture of hawksbill in several areas. In order to fulfilled the demand of raw material the souvenir production, the craftmen and bussinesmen of hawksbill cooperated with number of hawksbill collector in Sulawesi, Flores, Madura, Nusa Tenggara, and Riau Islands Sumatera.

One of the central catching areas is in South Sulawesi. In this area there are many collectors of hawksbill carapace such as in Poutere, Galesong in Takalar Regent, and Satanga Island. In 2001 ProFauna investigator has visited 12 different locations including 9 islands in Sulawesi to trace the route of hawksbill trade route.

One of the important areas in hawksbill trade bussines is Poutere South Sulawesi, about 5 km from Makassar downtown. In Poutere, there is collector of hawksbill carapace names Jumain who own ware house near to Poutere (Poutere Street No. 74/102). Besdides collecting hawksbill carapace, Jumain also collects shark fin and sea cucumbers.

The hawksbill carapaces kept in Jumain are obtained not only from Makaassar, Galesong and Satanga Island, but also from other places except Makassar. While other places besides Makassar are from Nusa Tenggara such as Satengar Island, Kawasan Island, Saelus Island, North Maluku Islands, South-East Sulawesi (Buton Area), Madura, and islands around South Kalimantan. This fact describe that the trade on hawksbill souvenir has stimulate massive catching on turtles throughout the entire ocean of hawksbill habitat.

Jumain admits he can at least 1 time in a month to shipped average 100 kg hawksbill carapace to the number of exporters in Makassar. This fact is interested to trace because most exporters states that they are no longer export hawksbill. Jumain also shipped his hawksbills carapace to Yogyakarta and Klaten.

He admits to ProFauna and JWCS investigators he states that he is able to supply 400 kg of hawksbill carapace in each year if there is demand. Jumain has team consist of 6 men who ready to collect hawksbill carapace from fishermen.

The activity of hawksbill catching is not only happen in Sulawesi but also in Flores. ProFauna Indonesia investigator has visited several areas and an island in West Nusa Tenggara to collect data of hawksbill catching. The good news is when the governments conducting strict law enforcement toward the hawksbill traders in Bali in 2001-2002, several hawksbill catchers in Flores stop their catching activities and change their earnings into common fishermen or ship maker. This fact proved that by doing strict law enforcement toward the traders has brought effective result to protect turtles from trading.

Although the turtle buntings has much declined, the hawksbill catching in smaller scale still continues in some islands in Flores such as in Kukusan, Mesa, Papagarang, and Bajo. In this area, one hawksbill costs for Rp 100.000-200.000. They catch turtles using nets or dragnet. The turtle then shipped Tanjung Benoa Bali and Makassar.

Before 2000 several fishermen in Flores catch turtle in order to ship to Bali. A former turtle catcher in Menjangan Island admitted he is able to catch 10-70 turtles including hawksbill, only in a day. He used to ship 200-300 turtles to Bali once in two months. From the 200 sea turtles shipped to Bali usually 20 % of them died of dehydration. However, at this moment the fishermen in Flores state that it is difficult to catch turtles in Flores Waters. It might be an indication of the declining number of turtle in nature as the result of intensive hunting’s.

Has the Turtle Protection Sufficed?

Based on the Government Regulation No.7 of 1999 about the conservation of flora and fauna, all turtle species in Indonesia including hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbicata) is protected species. This statement means that the species is forbidden to trade both alive and dead or its parts, including its carapace and eggs. Killing and injuring protected animals is also forbidden. This regulation is base on the act no. 5 of 1990 about the conservation of nature resource and its ecosystem.

Hawksbill has been protected since 1996 by the release of Decree of Ministry of Forestry No. 771/kpts-II/1996. While green turtle only protected 3 years later. The protection of hawksbill and other species of sea turtles were not without any reasons. In Government Regulation of 1999 article no. 5 explains about the criteria of determining a Species of animals being protected are:

"A species of flora and fauna is obligatory determining into a protected group if it has fulfilled the criteria:

  • having small population;
  • the sharp decline on the individual number in nature;
  • limited distribution (endemic);

Sanction for the doer of catching, trading and the keeping of protected animals has clearly regulated in act no.5 of 1990, is charged to 5 years prison and fined up to 100 million rupiah.

But the animal protection law is made not only for paper notes but it is obligatory. This implementation works stagnant. Although in 2001 the government has act strictly in combating the turtle trade in Bali, but in several other places such as Yogyakarta and Makassar, trade of souvenir made from hawksbill happen openly and widely. In Bali, trade of turtle also is not completely stopped. It becomes the government duty to eliminate turtle trade before it is too late, because all aspects are obvious over the law. Trade on turtle and their part is forbidden illegal activities.

Beware of Smuggling of Hawksbill parts abroad

Indonesia, the habitat of hawksbill was known to one of biggest exporter for hawksbill for Japan. Milliken and Tokunaga in their report released by Greenpeace (1990) states that Indonesia is the main supplier of hawksbill carapace for Japan since 1970. Most of the export gate of hawksbill carapace is Makassar Port (previously Ujung Pandang). Greenpeace in 1990 reported there is 14 companies active to collect and export hawksbill carapace.By listing the hawksbill in appendix I of CITES, the commercial trade of hawksbill and its parts internationally forbidden, except it fulfilled the strict criteria.

ProFauna Indonesia investigation in 2001, more than 10 years after the Greenpeace report show in Makassar there are 2 exporter companies left, namely Mutiara Mas and CV Sumber Nusantara. Those two companies admit they are no longer exporting hawksbill since 1991-1992. At this moment they focus the export on shark fin and other sea harvest.

Although they admit to stop exporting hawksbill carapace to Japan, Mutiara Mas still keep stockpile of hawksbill carapace. ProFauna Indonesia and JWCS success to document the stockpiles although it is only in small number. At least the sea harvest exporter still keeps the hawksbill carapace and it is believed if there is chance to ship it to Japan, the shipment can be granted. This possibility is straightened by the confession the hawksbill collector names Jumain in Poutere who said that he is routinely ships hawksbill carapace to Mutiara Mas. The government officials should investigate deeper on this indication before everything is gone.

The continual production of handicraft using hawksbill carapace in Yogyakarta, Klaten and Makassar must be watched concerning to the big chance of smuggling abroad. Moreover the craftsman such as Darsono admitted to ProFauna Indonesia investigator he also supplies hawksbill products to number of exporters in Bali and Surabaya to export to several countries such as Singapore and Thailand. But it is difficult for the customs officer to differentiate souvenir made from hawksbill or buffalo horn in short time. While on the other hand the document export is written as souvenir made from buffalo horns.

Trade on Hawksbill Eggs

If trade of hawksbill carapace from Indonesia to abroad done secretly and relatively in small quantity, it does not happen as for its eggs. In Malaysia and Indonesia border names Entikong in Kalimantan, trade of hawksbill eggs happen freely. At Entikong market there are four turtle eggs traders who sell the eggs for average of 4000 eggs during a week or totally about 12.000 eggs. During a month there are about 48.000 eggs sold at Entikong.

Most of the eggs buyers are Malaysian. In Saturday and Sunday, many of Malaysian shopping at Entikong Market and usually they always buy turtle eggs. The eggs cost for RM 1/pieces.

According to the eggs trader at Entikong, the control of turtle trade in Malaysia is very strict. If they are caught to sell turtle eggs they will be charged for higher fining. They do not dare to sell turtle eggs directly to Malaysia but sell it around the border area. But the smuggling of turtle eggs to Malaysia happen mostly in the sea, such as done on Tanjung Datu waters.

In many areas in Indonesia, the beaches where sea turtle used to laying eggs are rent out to private organizer. This condition happens in Sukabumi West Java, Sambas in West Kalimantan, Riau, and many other areas. This is ironic because all species of sea turtle are already protected by Indonesian law, including their parts such as eggs. According to Act No. 5 1990 trade on protected animals is protected. But trade of turtle eggs in Indonesia happen widely in almost places where there is turtle live. It seems there is no action from government to overcome the illegal trade in this turtle eggs.

The consumers of turtle eggs are not only Indonesian, but Malaysian and Singaporean obtained by smuggling process. In Natuna Region, of Riau Province there are some islands where turtle used to lay eggs such as in Sedanau Island, Laut Island, and Ranai Island. The local government gives the authority to manage the concession of the turtle eggs through auction process. The local price is Rp 800-1000/egg. The investigation on the field proved the eggs also sold to Malaysia and Singapore.

As the example of case of turtle trade is like in Paloh district of Sambas Region in West Kalimantan. In Jeruju village of Paloh district about 33, 6 km from Teluk Kalong Port, there is turtle eggs agent names Sepek (H. Atni). Sepek as hired the turtle location to lay eggs from the local government in Sambas in Tanjung Selimpai and Tanjung Kemuning.

The concession price of the location is Rp 50.000.000/year. The price of hawksbill eggs from agent is Rp 900/egg and green turtle price is Rp 1.500/egg in local market. Turtle eggs price in Malaysia is 70-80 cent/egg. The traders prefer to sell hawksbill eggs to abroad because the consumers think the protein content is higher rather than other eggs from other species.

The shipment method is simple, by placing the eggs inside the open box, in order to supply fresh air so the eggs will be always fresh during two weeks. To ship eggs to Malaysia by carrying it in the ship using border route such as Temajuk (Indonesian teritory) then ship along Melano (Malaysia territory).

Although in the concession statement the local government said to the private contactor should always leave half of the turtle eggs (example 10 eggs) in each nest in order to hatch, but in fact this obligation is difficult to control. Often the contractor only left 1-2 eggs in each nest. On the other hand the survival ability of the hatchlings in nature is low, as stated by some expert; from 1000 of turtle eggs only 1-3 hatchlings survive to reach adult. ProFauna Indonesia views the concession system of turtle eggs use implemented by some local governments in Indonesia, the contribution is not effective for turtle conservation in nature. The money paid t the local government from the concession of turtle eggs is also relatively small; it just paid for Rp 50.000.000/year in Sambas West Kalimantan. Instead, turtles are able to lay thousands of eggs during the night.

Modus of Hawksbill Shipment

Thre are many ways used by the business men in hawksbill trade to defeat the officials’ government to ship hawksbill carapaces intercity and abroad. The intercity distribution mostly applied is by using bus or travel and post service. As done by Darsono, the craftsmen of hawksbill in Kotagede, the stockpile of hawksbill supplied from Bali are sent by travel service or bus Denpasar-Yogyakarta destination. The packing method is simple, it is put inside the cartoon box and it is guaranteed there will be no further question from the travel agent, bus or post office. The distribution using this method is relatively safe and cheap.

To ship abroad, exporter usually falsified the export document by stating the exported items as the unprotected buffalo horns. Other method is by placing inside the hawksbill carapace into other stockpiles consists of sea harvest such as mollusk and pearls. The turtle carapace are inserted between others items in one container. This method will minimize the further inspection of custom official and quarantine. The safer method is by shipping it in the form of ready stock souvenirs. It can be in the form of bracelets necklaces, rings and etc. The custom officials would regard the contents of the container as handicraft made from buffalo horn. Moreover, when the custom and quarantine official are successfully bribed everything will work smoothly.

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