Police on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali arrested three people on Tuesday for alleged illegal trade of green sea turtles.
Police also seized 13 turtles from a boat in the island’s Tanjung Benoa harbour, local marine police chief Tubuh Musyareh said.
The turtles were about 1 metre in length and estimated to be more than 50 years old, he said. They were believed to have been caught off Sumbawa island.
Soemarsono, head of Bali’s Nature Conservancy Agency, said illegal trade in protected turtles had been on the rise.
In December, Bali police seized 33 endangered green and hawksbill sea turtles believed to have been poached to be sold to restaurants.
“This is getting out of hand and we will launch a crackdown on poaching and illegal trading in protected turtles,” he said.
Some restaurants in Bali illegally sell turtle meat. Sea turtles are also commonly sacrificed in traditional Balinese Hindu ceremonies.
The green turtle is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
It is illegal in most countries to hunt and catch green turtles.