Anambas; Durai Island and Sea Turtle Conservation

img_20160512_174732_hdrDurai Island is the third island that we visited in our trip. Compared with the previous two islands, Durai Island better known by domestic or international travelers. This is because Durai island is one of the Sea Turtle conservation in Indonesia.

img_20160512_174339_hdrpenyuTo get to Durai Island from Trenggiling Island requires a longer time, perhaps less than an hour if I am not wrong in remembering. There are several islands on Anambas Islands which is where turtles spawn. One of them in this Durai island.

Durai island has white sandy beach and has a crystal clear sea water. From the edge of the beach we can see the corals are in sea water. Wow!!  This is interesting for snorkeling. However, based on a book published by Kompas, with the title Kepulauan Anambas Surga Bawah Laut di Garda Terdepan, the island including the Core Zone. The zone is intended for absolute protection of habitat and fish populations, research, and education. This zone is defined by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Republic of Indonesia, Directorate General of Marine Coastal and Small Islands, Loka National Aquatic Conservation Area Pekanbaru. Board announcement regarding these zones can be found on Jemaja Island, one of the other group of islands on Anambas Islands. On Durai Island has been no announcement about the zone. Therefore, while we were there, we did not know about the island. However, we believed we will keep this island and still make it sustainable. We just want to know and learn a lot from this island that can be shared with others who might be going there someday.

There is one more thing that attracted me to visit Durai island that I never watched a show on this island in one of the private television in my country. I am very interested in seeing the turtles arrive, breeding turtles, hatchlings, and when television presenter released the hatchlings into the sea. It’s things that I dream I can do on this island. Two previous island not much information could we know in addition to the island is uninhabited, but the island Durai has enough information that can be known. Durai island is administratively included in districts Palmatak, Anambas. By using a speedboats takes approximately one hour from Tarempa City.

As an island where sea turtles nest, the egg-laying season. On the island found a lot of turtles and their eggs. Based on the stories in the book, in the past there were thousands of sea turtles nesting on the island. However, the eggs are taken to be sold to Singapore and Malaysia. The right to took the turtle auctioned for 30 million rupiah per year. I think the price is nothing compared to the sacrifice of turtles in across the ocean to arrive on the island, the island where they were born. Sea Turtle were born on the island of Durai, will be back again to Durai island when they will spawn someday. Of course, after they pass through natural selection.

After arriving on Durai Island , we certainly did get off the boat and running around on the white sandy beach and small corals. We took some pictures and waited for the sunset. Although the weather was slightly overcast, but we got a view of the sunset was quite beautiful though not the best.

img_20160512_174527_hdrAfter that, we took a bath in the bathroom belonged to the guard of the island, belonging to Mr. Lahani or commonly called Pak Lani. The bathrooms have enough water for our shower, I think they have a well and a water machine. But the bathroom has a broken door. So when my friend took a bath, I keep her. I stood near the door. Likewise, if I took a bath, my friends who keep me. Iit was very funny considering my friend had never took a bath in that condition. After it, we took a pray and we waited Eyster cooked for our dinner. Eyster prepered our dinner, she also made Coffee and tea. While Eyster’s friends looking for fish in the sea by using devices like a rifle. They were free diving in the sea when it was dark, only using the flashlight to catch the fish. Not long after they returned and took some large enough fish. We thought it was more than enough for our dinner, boat driver and his friend, and to be given to the family of Mr. Lahani.

While waiting for Eyster and her friends prepared dinner, we and others put a hammock on a palm tree. Oh I forgot to say, if we would spend the night on the island and would be sleeping in a gazebo on the beach. Actually there are three houses on stilts on this island, one of Mr. Lahani and there’s others I do not know who it belongs to. But the house is empty and there is no electricity. It looks like the less well maintained. According to the plan, we women will sleep in the house. But because we were afraid to sleep there, we plan to be sleeping in the gazebo. In the end, Ester’s friends who were willing sleep in one of the houses. 

While waiting for grilled fish being burned by Eyster’s friends. Bang Farizan and his friends invited us to see if there are turtles that have landed on the beach to lay their eggs. Sure enough, just a few steps we walked we had found traces of the turtle landings. We should not be noisy and turning on a light or flashlight. If we did, the turtle does not lay eggs and return to the sea. In essence, we would disturb the spawning activity. Therefore we walked slowly with no light. But according Eyster and her friend, if one is already in the process of laying. We could have a little turn on the light. it is because he has been quiet and not disturbed or intends to return to sea. We then heard some noise, we then headed toward the sound. Yup! We found the turtle who was pawing the sand. The Sea Turtle was preparing nests or holes to lay eggs. In addition we also found the turtles laying eggs, we all observed the turtle nesting process. Very funny, but it is interesting to know the turtle activities. Besides, we also found the turtle eggs that have been stockpiled sand by the turtle. We also saw traces of turtles that have been returned to the sea. According to them, in one night we could see dozens of turtles landed on the island. That’s if you’re lucky!

We saw a lot of things about the turtle, there was a very large, medium, and also a small enough size. I do not know what kind. But according to some sources, types of turtles that landed on the island Durai; Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Green Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Hawksbill Turtle (Chelonia mydas), and also Lekang Turtle (Lepidochelys olivaceae).

After Seeing the Turtles and the food is cooked, we went back to Gazebo. We had dinner with great gusto. We ate grilled fish, chili, and rice. The cuisine was very tasty. Our stomach are filled and drowsiness not come. So Bang Rifai invited us to see the other Turtles. We walked in the opposite direction from before. Unfortunately, we have not found any turtles laying eggs. Only traces that  we found. Because it did not find any turtle there, we ended up sitting on a fallen coconut tree. Sitting off the coast and clayey waves at night and the stars in the sky. Bang Farizan and Pak Aril talked about many things. About Durai and Anambas, about pirates in Anambas, until constellations. Occasionally, we chimed in their chat. It was very quiet and charming, away from the noise and bustle of the city. Not tasted many chats we were talking, the eyes were sleepy. We went back to a gazebo and slept soon.

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The next day, we woke up to the spirit. We would continue our trip to the other islands. But before that, we took time to stroll around the gazebo and Pak Lahani’s house. Bang Iwan called us, he says there was a sea turtle was laying eggs on the area that we went overnight. Hearing this, we ran to the site. There we saw a turtle who was scavenging the sand to cover the eggs. We noticed the turtle until she returned to the sea. The turtle is very slow when running on land but very agile when he reached the edge of the sea. When they reached the sea, the sea turtles swim fast and very free. We smiled at agility turtle.

We met with Mr. Lahani who was carrying a basket of eggs of sea turtles. Then we talked with Mr. Lahani. According to him, once there was a turtle conservation along with their equipment at the island and had operated for several years. But this time, the equipment and place the eggs hatching displaced and many appear damaged. We could see this when we took  a walk around Pak Lahani’s house.

In the past, the sea turtle conservation activities in Durai island managed by the Corporate Social Responsibility of companies, Premier Oil of the 2009-2012, at that time already recorded hundreds of thousands of turtles landing and nesting. As long as it has a lot of hatchlings released into the sea.

Currently, conservation activities have been managed by the regional government. But according to him, the condition is just not as good at the time managed by the company. equipment to incubate and nurture hatchlings released into the sea before it has been abandoned. In the past, Mr. Lani as the guardian of the island are paid by the company as much as five million, but is now much reduced. Huh! I can not say more  about this condition.  There are many things to be improved here. I just hope and pray that Durai island would be a better conservation again in the future. We also asked about the turtle eggs would carry around. He did not answer. Only by Ester, there are many turtle eggs are left in the hole and allowed to hatch naturally. Yes, hopefully these eggs can hatch into a hatchling and the hatchling may be across the ocean and back again to Durai island someday. Hopefully!

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Before breakfast, Mba Rina, Bang Farizan, and I am taking the time to simply snorkel in the sea. We were helped by Bang Farizan to see the underwater beauty. It’s just that we did not bring underwater cameras so we could not photographed. However, the beauty of coral, fish, and others who are very charming and more colorful. After that we had breakfast and said goodbye to Mr. Lahani, did not forget we took a picture with him. Thank you Mr. Lahani, Have a healthy always and please keep up the Durai island.  As we’ve just run a speedboat we were not far from Durai Island, Bang Rifai said that if there is a sea turtle that was swimming in the sea. We saw turtles and was very agile and free swimming. Very happy to see it, hopefully the turtles remain sustainable.

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Thanks Durai Island, be the best place for the sea turtles!

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10 thoughts on “Anambas; Durai Island and Sea Turtle Conservation

  1. Shannon says:

    Such a delightfully told story and I loved the photos! The only place I’ve ever seen sea turtle laying eggs in the night was East Coast Malaysia. Such a thrill.

    Like

  2. kepulauanseribuwisatajakarta says:

    Keren bener,,, mantap dah mbak yang satu ini klo dah travelling suasana tempatnya memukau banget dah,,,heheheh 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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