Amid scorching heat and high waves on Kuta Beach, foreign and domestic tourists participated in the release of 12 sea turtles on Wednesday morning.
The green turtles (chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (eretmochelys imbricata) had been previously rescued by Denpasar Police from poachers in March.
"All the turtles that were released today [Wednesday] were rescued on March 8. This was an attempt to protect turtles, which are an endangered species," Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Djoko Hariutomo said.
The police actually seized 17 turtles in March - 15 green turtles and two hawksbill turtles. One of the turtles died, while four others remain in a turtle-breeding centre to be used as evidence in the trial of the suspected poachers.
The turtles were rescued from a 33-year-old construction worker from Banjar Kelan in South Kuta identified as I Wayan Sukarta. He caught the turtles in Kedonganan.
"We arrested the suspect for legal processing. We will hand over the dossier and the suspect to the prosecutor's office soon," Djoko added.
In addition to Sukarta, the police arrested his colleague, who was also allegedly involved in the poaching. The identity of the new suspect, a Sumbawa native, has not been disclosed.