The Largest Manta Ray Sanctuary In The World Is Located In?
It’s one thing to designate a bay or even part of a coastal region as an animal sanctuary, it’s another thing to designate your country’s entire territorial waters. Yet that’s exactly what the country of Indonesia did in 2014 to protect the manta rays.
Why protect the manta rays? Because they’re far more profitable alive than dead. Analysis revealed that each manta ray killed brought in anywhere from $40 to $500 to the Indonesian fishing industry. If left alive, however, and used to fuel local ecotourism, each manta ray was worth roughly $1,000,000 over the course of its life in terms of money brought into the country.
As such, it was only a practical economic decision to turn all 2.2 million square miles of the country’s territorial waters into a massive manta ray sanctuary wherein the manta rays could flourish and become a self-renewing source of income for the region.
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