2nd Indonesia Shark and Ray Symposium
Towards Scientific Based Sustainable Management of Sharks and Rays
Jakarta, 28th – 29th March 2018
Sharks and rays (elasmobranchii) species are known for their relatively low fecundity, length at maturity on adult phase, and slow growth. High potential of sharks and rays make them a valuable target for the community, therefor sustainable management approach to conserve and preserve the species is recommended. In Indonesia, management of sharks and rays are based on the National Plan of Action (NPOA). A strong regulation and regular and transparent evaluation is needed to successfully implement NPOA. Effective management of sharks and rays need a strong support and commitment from all stakeholders through sustainable financing system and program. NPOA of sharks and rays was established in 2010 and within 5 years, Indonesia shows its commitment by producing regulations such as full protection for Whale Shark (2013) and Manta Rays (2014). Indonesia continues the commitment and consistency to the second period (2016-2020) by formulating nine main strategies based on previous NPOA evaluation and commitment to international management of Sharks and Rays.
Since 2013, the cartilaginous fish group has been a widespread international issue, especially following the introduction of several species of sharks and manta rays in Appendix II CITES. This is due to the high exploitation of various sharks and rays, both as main target and bycatch. Sharks exploitation in Indonesia commonly happened in potential areas of nursery ground, such as coral reef areas, shallow waters, or in feeding ground such as estuary areas. This can lead to a rapid decline in the population of sharks and rays, in the expense of a long time recovery.
Limited scientific data and information is the classic challenge in implementing maximum effort of protection and conservation program. Moreover, related research of sharks and rays that hopefully will fill in the data gap remains less popular in Indonesia. The first Indonesian Sharks and Rays Symposium in 2015 gather recommendation for policy through policy brief, such as; 1) Establishment of Sharks and Rays Working Group that collect databases of sharks and rays species, and facilitate human resource capacity building in the data collection system; 2) Strengthening sharks and rays products' traceability system, as well as developing best practice guidance to encourage the development of shark and ray ecotourism; 3) Encouraging the protection of important habitats. In 2018, Indonesian Sharks and Rays Symposium is back to gather the latest sharks and rays scientific researches conducted in Indonesia, in respond to the needs of sharks and rays sustainable management, particularly for species listed as “threatened with extinction” by IUCN, and species with growing concern at the international level like CITES and RFMO.
Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Sanctuary: protecting over 1 million acres
In October 2010, the Misool team successfully petitioned the regional government to protect sharks and rays across the entire 1 million acres/40,000 sq km of Raja Ampat. This government-designated conservation area adds another level of protection to our on Misool Marine Reserve. Together with Shark Savers/WildAid, the Misool team presented a petition signed by over 8,500 supporters. We built a strong case on the economic value of these creatures - they're worth so much more alive than dead to the people of Raja Ampat. We also sited data on the possible ecosystem collapse pursuant to the elimination of apex predators.
Misool Manta Project: collects population and behavioural data on vulnerable manta populations.
Established in 2011, The Misool Manta Projects’ key objectives are to study, educate, inspire and protect. The Misool Manta Project teaches visitors to Misool, engages local community members, and conducts critical research on both Oceanic mantas (Manta birostris) and Reef mantas (Manta alfredi). The Project provides robust population data to the government, NGO’s, communities and conservationists. This data has been leveraged to push the protection of mantas and ensure the long-term survival of these charismatic megafauna as well as their habitat.
4 things we’ve discovered from tagging Indonesia’s mantas
Manta rays are among dive tourists’ most beloved swimming companions. But despite frequent interactions between humans and mantas, we did not know much about them — until now. Since 2014, Conservation International (CI) and its partners (including the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, S.E.A. Aquarium and Manta Trust) have been fitting mantas in Indonesia with satellite tags to learn more about their behavior and how we can best protect them.
Manta Sandy Ranger Station: A Community Based Approach to Sustainable Tourism in Raja Ampat
With a brand-new Manta Season almost upon us, these graceful ballerinas of the sea are slowly returning to the Dampier Strait region; an area officially designated as Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2006. Where the mantas have been the past 6 months is still one of nature’s mysteries (and perhaps one best kept!); but from the months of October through to May these majestic creatures grace the local waters of the Dampier Strait.
Scientists are ready to compile data on managing shark & rays in Indonesia
Sharks are known to many from the famous movie of JAWS, making their reputation bad in front of human, who knows the as the bad animals who like to prey upon them. Although facts have shown otherwise, this key species plays an important role as an ultimate predator and nowadays still being hunted until the point of near extinction. It is inevitable to say that the presence of shark is very vital in in the ocean ecosystem. Similar fate has been happening to Manta Rays, one of protected species of rays, which holds high economical value for marine tourism. They are being hunted by fishermen in the ocean. Both sharks and Manta Rays share similar ecological aspects such as wide distributions from shallow continental shelf, continental slope to deep sea.
Observing Sharks and Mantas in Komodo National Park
Manta Point is the most popular tourist destination in West Maggarai Regency. As one of famous rescue points in Komodo National Park, this spot promises the tourists a visit with mantas. Beside this spot, some other spots for visiting sharks are also favorable among tourists, like Batu Bolong. The challenge of diving against the current does not deter diving enthusiasts to keep coming here. At least in the last six years, Komodo National Park has increased its visitors by 10,75%. This high number of visitors can also impact the natural resources if they are not responsibly managed. This also affects the tourists’ comfort when they visit the diving spots.