Target: Sharif Cicip Sutardjo, Minster of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia
Goal: Commend Indonesia for protecting the two largest species of manta ray in the world
A new ruling by the Indonesia Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries listed giant manta rays and reef manta rays as protected species in all waters owned by Indonesia. Manta rays are particularly vulnerable to overfishing and are in danger of extinction. Commend Indonesia for taking steps to protect these beautiful animals.
Manta rays can develop a wingspan of up to 23 feet across, live 20 to 30 years, mature late, and have very slow gestation periods with a manta ray giving birth to a single pup only about once every 2 years. They become easily entangled in nets and fishing lines and are hunted for their gill rakers for dubious medicinal purposes. While manta rays are protected in international waters, they often spend the summer months close to shore where they are vulnerable to the whims of each particular government and local fishing boats. Groups of rays rarely intermingle, so once a group’s numbers have been decimated they cannot be refreshed by manta rays from other groups. When they are gone, they are gone for good.
Now the nearly 60,000 sq. miles of water around Indonesia, including parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, are protected for the two largest species of manta ray in the world. This is a great step towards protecting this vulnerable species. Commend Indonesia for protecting the manta rays.
Dear Pak Sharif,
Recently Indonesia listed the two largest species of manta ray, the giant manta ray and the reef manta ray, as protected in all waters owned by Indonesia. This is an important step in protecting this very vulnerable species. As you know, manta rays live long lives, mature late in life, and have very few offspring, making them particularly vulnerable to overfishing. They are easily entangled in nets and lines and are hunted for their gill rakers for traditional medicine.
Manta rays worldwide are in danger of extinction and are protected in international waters through treaties. But in the warm summer months they come closer to shore and must be protected by local governments. Thank you for listing the manta ray as a protected species in Indonesia. With the protected area covering approximately 93,000 sq. km (about 60,000 sq. miles) of water spanning parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this designation offers significant protection to manta rays.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ken2754 via Fotopedia