Conservation & Sustainable Management

Where the reef manta doth roam

Reaching up to 5.5 meters in length, the reef manta ray ( Manta alfredi ) is the second largest species of ray in the world.  As a group, rays are highly threatened and the reef manta ray is no exception.  Already listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, it is thought that the global population of the reef manta is in decline.  The threats to the ray primarily come from fisheries that target them for their meat, fins, and the aquarium trade, but they are also at risk from being struck by boats, and from becoming entangled in fishing gear, line lines and nets.  These critters need our help if their population is to stop declining.   Protecting mantas isn’t just important for the manta’s themselves, or even the wider food web of which they are a part.  Manta’s are captivating creatures, so much so that in some places in the world, manta’s drive a tourism industry all of their own.   Indonesia has the fourth highest number of manta ray tourism sites in the world, bringing in an estimated U$15 million a year to the Indonesia economy.  Indonesia also happens to be home to a substantial manta-targeting fishery which brings in around $442,000 a year.

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