Indonesia has granted full-protected status to its manta ray populations within the waters of its exclusive economic zone, effectively creating a 6 million square kilometer manta ray sanctuary that is one of the only places on the planet tourists can reliably encounter oceanic and reef manta rays.  Indonesia has the second largest manta ray tourism industry in the world, with an estimated annual value of over $15 million. The move comes following work by Conservation International, which launched a MacArthur-supported campaign to raise awareness and support for shark and ray conservation among the general public and policymakers, and collect and share critical missing data that bolstered the scientific justification for conferring protected status on these threatened species, and for doing so across the entire Indonesian archipelago.

Conservation & Sustainable Development, Conservation