The Turtles of Enu

turtle.jpgEnu has long had a reputation as the richest turtle nesting ground in all Maluku, and is supposed to be the most precious island of the marine reserve for this reason.  Once upon a time a Dutch lady remembered as Miss Kiki used to live on the island and patrol it nightly to ensure that both the nesting tuyrtles and their eggs survived largely unharmed. Since she left, things have deteriorated sharply. These days the nesting turtles are captured on the beach at night, caught in nets stretched out in front of the beaches, and even further out at sea. Much of the hunting is done by locals from Workai, but to make things worse, boats come from as far afield as Bali. Unsurprisingly, turtle numbers have declined sharply. Once Enu had 40-50 turtles coming ashore each night, during my stay there, only 3 turned up. Virtually every nesting turtle is now captured and slaughtered, with their meat bought by Chinese businesses. Idealistic ecotourists may now find visiting Enu a very disturbing experience!

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