I recently returned from South Africa where I attended a conference and a workshop to help better understand current and develop new, much needed, global conservation strategies for sharks, as well as mantas and devil rays. In the past month, Project AWARE has joined leading researchers and policy experts to envision the future, verbalize clear goals, and discuss the actions needed to protect these species.
The Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister has declared the reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) and oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris) as protected fish species as they are facing an increased threat of extinction.
"In the beginning of 2014, we have decided on the protection of two manta ray species," said Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Sharif C.Sutardjo on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
The protection on the two manta ray species is stipulated in fisheries and maritime affairs ministerial decree (Permen) No.04/2014 on manta ray protection status.