Our Living Seas

Sea Snakes of Gunung Api


Gunung Api or Sea Snake Island is a small volcanic island in the Banda Sea, Indonesia. It is known for its hundreds of highly venomous, non-aggressive banded and olive sea snakes. Their venom is reported to be more toxic than land snakes. Sea Snake populations are diminishing due to by-catch and exploitation. Sea Snake skins are being used to make handbags, wallets, passports holders, belts, shoes and even cases for BlackBerry phones, iPads, and iPhones. The only Sea Snake protection program is by the Australian Wild Life Protection Act. They are not protected by CITES but perhaps should be.