Indonesia Creates World’s Largest Manta Ray Sanctuary

Giant Pacific manta ray, Manta birostris, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Papua, Indonesia

Indonesia has announced legislation that will protect all manta rays within its nearly six million square kilometer exclusive economic zone, creating the world’s largest sanctuary for both species of manta rays.

On January 28, Sharif Sutardjo, Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, declared both the giant manta ray and reef manta ray as protected species under Indonesian law.

Indonesia has been the world’s largest fishery for rays and sharks for nearly 30 years, but a new review conducted by two Indonesian government agencies and a coalition of conservation organizations, concluded that rays are worth up to 2,000 times more alive than dead, due to the tourist business they attract.

Conducted by the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, with input from Conservation International, the review included findings from a recent study, led by  WildAid, the Manta Trust and Shark Savers, showing that a single manta ray is worth an estimated US$1 million in dive tourism revenue over the course of its life.

The same animal is worth between $40 and $500 if caught and killed before the end of its average lifespan of 20 – 30  years.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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