Balitraveldiary.com – Want a different travel experience while adding insight? Serangan Island can be your destination. This small island in the south of Denpasar holds a hidden wealth of smoked fish culinary, religious tourism in Pura Dalem Sakenan, historical tourism in Kampung Bugis, and conservation of sea turtles. One of the things that are quite interesting for environmentalists is a visit to the Turtle Education and Conservation Center (TCEC) which is located at Jalan Tukad Wisata No. 4, Serangan Village, Denpasar.
TCEC is a conservation vehicle initiated by a number of environmental conservation figures in Bali, WWF, and the Provincial Government of Bali. The pilot project for this place began in 1982, on initiatives including the then Minister of Research and Technology, B.J. Habibie.
The establishment of this project was driven by the rampant buying and selling of sea turtles in Bali, especially on Serangan Island and Tanjung Benoa. Sea turtles are inseparable from the needs of Balinese religious rituals which make it one of the conditions for offering ceremonies in certain ceremonies.
This project did not run smoothly and could fade around the end of the 1980s until 2003. Efforts to rehabilitate the project began again around 2003-2004, which then continued to be developed to what it is today. To be sustainable, aspects of educational tourism are developed in order to support operational funding from this vehicle. However, TCEC does not apply certain tariffs in the form of tickets but is more like opening up opportunities for donations for visitors who are interested in preserving the existence of these turtles.
At present, TCEC acts as a transit point for the process of turtle reproduction. Together with fishermen community partners who have been fostered, TCEC collects turtle eggs from the beach when the spawning season arrives, which is around July-August. These eggs are then hatched and maintained until they are approximately 3-5 months old. At that time, the turtle or baby turtle is mass released back into the sea so that it can grow in its natural habitat. After running for a number of years, now nine TCEC target sites have been developed as hatchery centers spread throughout Bali, including Perancak (State), Floating, Saba Beach, Kuta Beach, and Serangan.
As an educational tourism facility, there are several facilities at TCEC that allow the public to gain insight into the processes that take place in saving these endangered animals. On the east side (front), there is a turtle hatchery area measuring approximately 2×2 meters. In this area, each group of eggs found by fishermen is placed in one hole.
In the middle, there is an exhibition pond. In this pool, visitors can see adult sea turtles. Meanwhile, on the west side, there is a hall containing ponds measuring 2.5×2.5 meters each, which is a place for enlargement of hatchlings from the age of 0-3 months.
At TCEC, the public can see three of the six types of turtles that live in Indonesia, namely green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and cracked turtles. Green turtles have scaly but soft-textured shell contours. Unlike the hawksbill sea turtle which has a shell with a rougher contour and looks sharp and layered like fish scales. The curved turtle has the most delicate scales with rounded scales and elongated side scales. The three types of turtles that can be observed on Serangan Island are turtles that naturally lay their eggs in the waters of Bali.
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