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SE Asia
 

Indonesia announces world's biggest manta ray sanctuary

Published on Feb 21, 2014 1:34 PM
 
A manta ray swims in the waters of Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia's remote Papua province on Dec 3, 2006. Indonesia has became home to the world's biggest manta ray sanctuary covering millions of square kilometres, as it seeks to protect the huge winged fish and draw more tourists to the sprawling archipelago. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP  

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia on Friday became home to the world's biggest manta ray sanctuary covering millions of square kilometres, as it seeks to protect the huge winged fish and draw more tourists to the sprawling archipelago.

New legislation gives full protection to the creatures across all the waters surrounding South-east Asia's biggest country, which for years has been the world's largest shark and ray fishery.

Protection group Conservation International hailed the "bold" move and said it was influenced by a recent government-backed review that showed a single manta ray was worth one million dollars in tourism revenue over its lifetime.

This compares to between US$40 (S$51) and US$500 if caught and killed, the group said.

 
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