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stdClass Object ( [ID] => 32965 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-02-22 08:55:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-02-22 08:55:46 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_32968" align="aligncenter" width="654" caption="A manta ray swims in the water, off Raja Ampat islands, Indonesia. Pic: AP."][/caption] INDONESIA is now the world's largest sanctuary for manta rays, after officials were persuaded by evidence that the gentle giants known for delighting tourists are worth more alive than dead. The government on Friday announced that manta rays within the archipelago's 5.8 million square kilometers (2.2 million square miles) of ocean will be protected from fishing and export. It will take time and cooperation at multiple levels to enforce the ban on poaching in the biggest global shark and ray fishery. Conservationists point to simple economics as an incentive. According to a study published last year in the online journal PLoS One, a manta ray is worth up to $1 million over the course of its long lifetime, thanks to tourists willing to pay generously for a chance to swim with the curious creatures that glide gracefully through the water by flapping their wide wings, almost as if flying. They are worth only $40 to $500 dead. Government officials were "so surprised that the tourism value is very high. That's a very powerful argument," said Tiene Gunawan, marine program director at Conservation International Indonesia. "Indonesia is such a big, big, big country. When looking at the size of the water, it's huge. And I think we should start small and make some kind of pilot for this enforcement." The regulation was passed Jan. 28. Conservation groups are working to teach fishermen about the value of keeping the mantas alive, while business people, the military, water police and local officials are being engaged to assist. In some areas, including a well-known spot near the resort island of Bali, locals are already seeing profits from taking snorkelers out on their fishing boats, or working at larger dive resorts where mantas are a top attraction. In Indonesia alone, manta tourism brings in an estimated $15 million each year, according to the PLoS One report. "Indonesia now has the second-largest manta ray tourism industry in the world," Agus Dermawan, director of the country's Marine Conservation Directorate, said in a statement. "Given the huge area of reefs and islands in our country, if managed properly, Indonesia could become the top manta tourism destination on the planet." Two types of rays exist in Indonesia, the manta and the mobula. Both are killed for their plankton-filtering gills, which are used for medicinal concoctions, mainly in China. Mantas are also frequently caught accidentally by fishermen, but they are not part of a major targeted industry in Indonesia as in other countries, such as Sri Lanka, Gunawan said. Increased demand has led to a sharp drop in manta numbers in recent years, raising international concern. Multibillionaire Virgin Group boss Richard Branson has sounded alarms though the "Manta Ray of Hope" conservation project. And last year the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora imposed new trade regulations for the species. "Enforcement and community education are always necessary in order for this or any law to have a real impact, but passage of the law is a critical step," Mary O'Malley, lead author of the study from the San Francisco-based nonprofit WildAid, said in an email. She said her organization also plans to launch a campaign in China to address demand there. Mantas are among the world's largest fish and can reach up to 8 meters (26 feet) from wingtip to wingtip. Found in the tropics, they can live up to 50 years, but do not mature until age 8 to 10 and typically give birth to a single pup only every two to five years. This slow reproduction rate means fishing cannot be sustained over the long haul, and mantas are classified as vulnerable to extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. Mantas are smart and capable of migrating more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), and each has a unique pattern of spots on its belly. Unlike stingrays, they have no barbs and are harmless to humans. Even though they are beloved by divers and snorkelers, due to their size, friendliness and graceful beauty in the water, much remains unknown about their population numbers worldwide. In addition to Indonesia, manta fishing is banned in Australia, Ecuador, the European Union, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Yap, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. states of Hawaii and Florida. - Associated Press [post_title] => Indonesia hopes to cash in on manta ray tourism [post_excerpt] => INDONESIA is now the world's largest sanctuary for manta rays, after officials were persuaded by evidence that the gentle giants known for delighting tourists are worth more alive than dead. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => indonesia-hopes-to-cash-in-on-manta-ray-tourism [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-05-10 04:31:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-05-10 04:31:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.travelwireasia.com/?p=32965 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw )

Indonesia hopes to cash in on manta ray tourism

Indonesia hopes to cash in on manta ray tourism
February 22, 2014 - 1 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

INDONESIA is now the world’s largest sanctuary for manta rays, after officials were persuaded by evidence that the gentle giants known for delighting tourists are worth more alive than dead.

5 amazing Asian wedding destinations

5 amazing Asian wedding destinations
December 17, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

PLANNING a wedding can be the most exciting time of your life – or the most exhausting. Choosing the flower arrangements, the food, the music and deciding on a place to honeymoon may thrill some, but others may long for a simpler solution. Destination weddings can provide just that, with resorts handling all of the…>

Top travel moments of 2013

Top travel moments of 2013
December 6, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the anniversary of the Everest climb to airways that charge per weight, the release of films that put tourism on the map and lots of travel awards, 2013 has brought a range of tourism experiences to the Asia-Pacific region.  January Qantas Airways passengers between Cairns and Port Moresby watched a large python clinging to…>

5 unforgettable Asia-Pacific cruise destinations

5 unforgettable Asia-Pacific cruise destinations
October 25, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the sun soaked paradise of Fiji to the snowy mountains of New Zealand or the beaches of Australia, cruises take in some of the most romantic and scenic parts of the Asia-Pacific region. And they aren’t just for retirees. Cruise ships cater for children, families, singles and pensioners with something for everyone from remote…>

Indonesia’s less traveled beach and island destinations

Indonesia’s less traveled beach and island destinations
October 9, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

INDONESIA is renowned for its white sands, clear turquoise waters and beautiful marine life. But many of its beach and island locations are hardly undiscovered and it can sometimes feel you’re battling the crowds in search of that elusive paradise. Here are some beach and island locations where you might find you can get the…>

Asia on the page: 6 literary excerpts about Asian locations

Asia on the page: 6 literary excerpts about Asian locations
August 30, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE beauties of Asia are often espoused through photographs and paintings, but the literary world has done much to put it on the traveller’s map too . These six literary excerpts describe in vivid detail the scenes, culture and experience of living, visiting and traveling in Asia. While chosen for their apt descriptions, they should…>

In pictures: 10 most beautiful landscapes in Asia

In pictures: 10 most beautiful landscapes in Asia
August 22, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Asia-Pacific region is filled with scenic landscapes, soaring mountains, meandering rivers and rich historical sites. To choose just 10 beautiful places is but the tip of the iceberg, however these enormous bays, snowy peaks, reflective lakes and verdant fields are all worthy of mention. Halong Bay, Vietnam Find accommodation in Halong to suit your…>

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Desa Seni

Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Desa Seni

Village resort and wellness center

10 Bedroom, sleeps 2
1 Bathroom View

Maya Ubud Resort and Spa

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Maya Ubud

Luxurious Bali mountain villas

1 Bedroom, sleeps 2
1 Bathroom View

Bali Dynasty Resort

Kuta, Bali, Indonesia

Lobby of Bali Dynasty Resort, image © Mike Aquino

Family Resort on South Kuta

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Club Bali Hawaii

Anyer, Bali, Indonesia

Club Bali Hawaii

Western Bali Gateway to Adventure

73 Bedroom, sleeps 6
1 Bathroom View

Batu Karang Lembongan Resort

Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia

Batu Karang

Luxurious villas overlooking Lembongan

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Comments

  • avatarReadyClickAndGo { I haven't been to Tianjin but I heard its a beautiful city and its worth visit on a day tour from Beijing. Apparently there is... } – Aug 04, 8:27 AM
  • avatarDota 2 Player { This website just plagiarised http://www.nationalstereotype.com/australian-stereotypes/ } – Aug 02, 10:32 AM
  • avatariampieman { Number 5 is totally wrong, I see people wearing everything you listed all the time in their every day life! } – Jul 31, 9:18 AM
  • avatarBali Radar { If you guys are heading down to South Kuta, Bali, Indonesia to volunteer or to stay longer in the island and in need of a... } – Jul 01, 5:49 AM
  • avatarJoanna Dee { Willy. Come and visit Lhoknga, by Banda Aceh on the northwest tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. We have had around 15-25 knots of wind almost every... } – Jun 30, 2:21 AM
  • avatarDunia Wisata Indonesia { Let's traveled to Indonesia *Bali. Lombok. Yogyakarta, Bandung, Sumatera, Borneo, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi and other all* With Dunia Wisata International Tour Organizer.. We are the... } – Jun 24, 5:34 AM
  • avatarDunia Wisata Indonesia { Let's traveled to Indonesia *Bali. Lombok. Yogyakarta, Bandung, Sumatera, Borneo, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi and other all* With Dunia Wisata International Tour Organizer.. We are the... } – Jun 24, 4:49 AM
  • avatarDunia Wisata Indonesia { Let's traveled to Indonesia *Bali. Lombok. Yogyakarta, Bandung, Sumatera, Borneo, Raja Ampat, Sulawesi and other all* With Dunia Wisata International Tour Organizer. We are the... } – Jun 24, 4:48 AM
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