Traveling on the By Pass road from Kuta towards Sanur, you will pass the turn-off for Serangan, a small island with a good surf break, a couple of local warungs, a Hindu temple, plenty of cows and not much else.
It's here on this small island where you will find the Turtle Conservation and Education Center, or "TCEC". The center was opened in January 2006, and is supported by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the Governor of Bali, and the local community.
The TCEC forms part of a comprehensive strategy to eradicate turtle trading on the island. Traditionally in Bali green sea turtle meat is a popular delicacy, especially during Balinese ceremonial feasts, however several environmental organizations like the TCEC are trying to educate the local people and help conserve the sea turtle population on Bali.
The turtle center helps protect turtles by hosting injured animals (when we visited the center, we saw one turtle that had been bitten by a shark) and buying eggs from locals to prevent them from being eaten.
They also collect turtle nests from busy tourist beaches and bring them back to the center to put in the purpose-built hatchery. The eggs are bred here and the hatchlings raised for about one month before being released into the wild.
Out of the seven types of sea turtles, three species are kept and raised at the center. These are the Green sea turtle, the Olive Ridley sea turtle and the Hawksbill sea turtle.
All recent sea turtle species are endangered due to human activity by not only hunting and the consumption of eggs, but also the pollution of oceans and the destruction of breeding beaches around the world.
When we visited the center, one of the German volunteers showed us around and explained about the work the center is doing. We got to see the three different types of sea turtles and also took a peek at some hatchlings that had just been born that very morning.
The TCEC is doing it's part in helping sea turtles from going extinct and as a charity organization, depends strongly on donations. No entrance fee is charged to visit the center, leaving it entirely up to you if you want to leave a donation (no matter how big or small).
It's also possible to adopt a turtle for Rp. 100,000. In return you will receive a certificate from the Turtle Conservation and Education Center and will be able to help in the release of your chosen turtle, if you're still in Bali at the time.
||Serangan Island, Bali|
||(0361) 857 7881|
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