Indonesia Creates Sanctuary for Sharks and Mantas
Indonesia has announced that it will set aside a haven for sharks and manta rays in a remote dive destination located in what is known as the “Amazon of the Ocean” due to its abundant and diverse marine life.
http://www.xray-mag.com/content/indones ... and-mantas
Credit: Jonathan Chase / Wikipedia Commons
The measure was announced recently by authorities in Raja Ampat - an archipelago off western New Guinea – and will protect 46,000-square-kilometers of ocean.
Rizal Algamar, Indonesia director of Nature Conservancy says, “Scientific evidence states that the value of live sharks and manta rays far outweighs the one-time profit of dead sharks and manta rays, benefiting a growing world-class and increasingly popular marine tourism and dive destination.”
The sanctuary is part of the Coral Triangle, an area in the western Pacific which includes the rich waters around Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines and Timor-Leste.
Shark and Manta Ray populations are in decline around the globe according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Their ongoing research shows that one of the biggest threats is the growing demand for their fins and gills, often used for soup and medicine in Asia.
Conservation International applauded the move saying, “Sharks in particular play an important role, as apex predators at the top of the food chain, maintaining fisheries and ecosystem health. And manta rays are also an important tourist attraction and are estimated to generate significant local tourism revenue when alive and in their natural environment.”
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