Indonesia announces manta sanctuary

Indonesian manta ray sanctuary on Wetpixel

The Jakarta Globe reports that the Indonesian government has passed new legislation that protects manta rays within all of the country’s 5.8 million square kilometers of ocean and bans fishing for them and the export of their body parts nationally.

Mantas have become increasingly threatened due to a demand for their body parts for use in Chinese traditional medicine. The Indonesian government had commissioned a study that showed that the sale of these body parts produced between $40 to $500 of revenue, compared to the around $1 million they can generate in their lifetimes as tourist attractions.

This new protection builds on the 46,000 square kilometer shark and ray sanctuary that was established in Raja Ampat last year.