MANTARAY

Manta parts worth $615 million to Indonesian tourism industry intercepted

The  Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia and the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society’s) Wildlife Crimes Unit have made their largest seizure of manta ray gills and arrested one person. The 103kg of gill plates represented 85 manta rays and each was worth $7.8 million to the Indonesian dive industry over its lifetime. The raid took place on 7th November when officials, working on part of a larger investigation, at a house near to the  Pengambengan Negara fisheries landing area in Bali. The latest raid follows on from follows three arrests earlier this month and in October involving illegal trade of manta ray meat and gill…

Whale sharks bring in $10 million a year to the Maldives

One of the classic dive locations in the world is producing more income for the Maldives than previously thought. The whale shark population at South Ari atoll Marine Protected Area attracts an incredible 77,000 visitors each year and they spend US$9.4 million a year. The whale shark population at  South Ari is one of the few whale shark locations in the year where divers can be sure of experiencing these massive but gentle fish. The population is a resident year-round one and this small group of sharks account for nearly half of all Maldive shark tourism spend. The value of shark tourism to the Maldives has always been assumed to be high but…

Manta Ray tourism worth $140 million a year

Swimming with manta rays is one of the highlights for any scuba diver and can be a valuable source of money and jobs for local people. The latest estimate for the value of manta ray tourism has been put at USD140 million a year. Just 10 countries account for 93% of the value and manta rays offer a clear opportunity for many more countries to boost their diving tourism market. The estimate was given in a study published on the PlosOne science website. It was undertaken by volunteers associated with the  WildAid, Manta Trust and Shark Savers NGO’s. The study looked at 23 countries which have a suitable manta ray…

Keep feeding the sharks

Keep feeding the sharks

Divers will travel the world to get to good locations to dive with sharks. It can be big money too. Some dive operators will feed an area to attract sharks for their clients but it’s a controversial practice. In some regions such as Florida the baiting for sharks have been banned while in other regions it’s accepted by local authorities. It is a controversial practise though among marine conservationists. Will feeding sharks with ‘chum’ – ground up fish that is used as food – change the behaviour of sharks and interfere with their natural feeding and foraging behaviour? [pullquote]Not only did we discover that ecotourism provisioning did not affect tiger shark behavior, we found that…

Nine new species for the reefs of Bali

Nine new species for the reefs of Bali

During an assessment of coral reefs around Bali researchers from Conservation International and partner organisations believe they may discovered nine new species. The new finds are made up of eight new species of fish and one new species of coral. The reef surveys were done in readiness for the designation of 25 new Marine Protection Areas (MPA).