Saving Alexa the Turtle

Joshua Restauro, 4ocean Story Editor

Bali, Indonesia is a famous tourist hotspot for many reasons. The tropical climate puts everyone in good spirits, its breathtaking beaches are perfect for swimming and surfing, it has a highly diverse wildlife, and the locals are known for their warm and friendly demeanor.

The customs and caring nature of the Balinese extend not only to foreigners but also to their wildlife. As marine animals such as sea turtles, dolphins, and whales continue to suffer due to worsening environmental hazards, one big community endures in their fight to save them from extinction.

During a cleanup operation in the Bali Strait off the coast of Pabuwahan Beach, the 4ocean crew do their business as usual, unsurprised by the long lines of trash floating in the sea. Although a filthy welcome to the group, it is a sight they’ve become so familiar with.


They extract every waste that drifts their way for hours and hours. A discarded mattress comes into view and the team quickly removes it from the water. But something looks strange. Upon inspection, they found a fully grown olive ridley sea turtle stuffed inside the mattress!


Nur Wahyudi, the crew who saw the turtle, consulted 4ocean Captain Imran on what appropriate measures to take. The turtle is almost on the brink of suffocation so they immediately fetched it out of the mattress and carefully removed the net entangled around its head.

The turtle still looks too exhausted to survive on its own. Its flippers are numb and its eyes are half closed. Imran instructed the crew to help it recover by letting it rest in the boat for half an hour.


While the team was cleaning its shell and removing any debris stuck on its body, they identified that the olive ridley turtle was a girl and humorously named it Alexa (after 4ocean founder Alex Schulze).

As they wait for Alexa to recover her strength, Imran recounts his days as a young fisherman and conservation volunteer. He said he had heard many sea turtles cry, a sign that they sense a looming danger. He ponders that this turtle, like him, might be old enough to remember a more beautiful time when the ocean wasn’t constantly trying to choke them to death.

Imran said that the ocean has been sick for a while, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as it is now compared to the early days. His devotion to defending the environment is based upon his belief that it is every animal and human’s God-given right to exist freely in this world. And the more we fight and call for awareness and conservation, more people will share Imran and his crew’s dedication.


Six species of turtles are endangered, yet a significant percentage of their population die from plastic pollution, and around 500-1000 sea turtles are hunted by poachers every month in Bali alone.

The scale of the threat of entanglement to turtles is grossly underestimated. Many of them also suffer from ruptured internal organs and starvation from ingesting plastics. It is now important more than ever to support us in solving the ocean crisis.