Indonesian authorities have detained seven people for allegedly attempting to smuggle 36 endangered green sea turtles, police said Sunday.
The police in Bali nabbed the smugglers in the waters off Serangan, a small island on the south-eastern coast of the resort island known for its turtle conservation.
The seven were transporting the green sea turtles – one of the world’s largest species of turtle – in an outrigger boat when they were intercepted, said director of Bali water and air police Toni Ariadi Effendi.
“They were going to hand over the green turtles to someone in Serangan,” Effendi said.
The police have taken the turtles to the local nature conservation agency to be kept as evidence while investigating the case and prosecuting the smugglers before they are to be released back into the wild.
A green turtle weighs up to 132 kilograms and is about 80 to 150 centimeters long.
Six out of the world’s seven sea turtles species are found in Indonesia, which is part of the turtles’ migrating route from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and vice versa. They are hunted for their hard upper shells to be made as accessories or preserved as taxidermy.