Sorong, W Papua (ANTARA) - West Papua Police's marine unit apprehended a local resident over possession of two endangered sea turtles that the suspect allegedly caught in the protected conservation areas of Suprau Tanjung Kausari in Sorong City.

One of the two hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) is alive, while the other one had died, Head of Law Enforcement Affairs at the West Papua Police's Marine Unit Commissioner Syarifur Rahman noted in a statement that ANTARA quoted here on Monday.

The arrested suspect is only identified by his initials as WNF, he remarked, adding that police investigators continue to probe the case.

For proper handling of the seized hawksbill turtle, police investigators coordinated with their counterparts from the West Papua Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), West Papua Fisheries and Maritime Office's Marine and Coastal Resources Management, and Papua Turtle Foundation, he stated.

The surviving turtle suffered a grave injury that necessitates veterinary medical care, Rahman noted.

Indonesia is an archipelagic nation that is blessed by the Almighty God with an array of flora and fauna, several of which are categorized as "iconic species."

According to the Ocean Health Index, a valuable tool for assessing ocean health, iconic species are "animals or plants which are important to cultural identity as shown by their involvement in traditional activities."

Indonesia is home to several iconic species, including the sea turtle. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia has also reported that six of the seven living species of sea turtles that scientists recognize can be found in the country.

According to the WWF Indonesia’s official website, four of the six species of sea turtles -- green turtles (Chelonia mydas), "belimbing" or leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), "sisik" or hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), and "lekang" or olive Ripley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) -- lay their eggs in several of the country's coastal areas.

The WWF Indonesia further noted that the Indonesian waters are also the most crucial migratory route of sea turtles at the crossroads of the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Abun Sub-district's coastal areas in Tambrauw District, West Papua Province, are known as the largest nesting spots of leatherback turtles in the Pacific region.

The Derawan Islands in East Kalimantan Province are recorded by the WWF Indonesia as the biggest nesting spots of green turtles in Southeast Asia.

In Java Island, Trisik Beach in Kulon Progo District, Yogyakarta Province, is also known as the green turtles' nesting spot.
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Translator: Ernes BK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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