Indonesia govt plans shark, manta ray hunting ban

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry is considering a plan to issue a decree banning shark and manta ray hunting, after a provincial administration in West Papua issued such a regulation to conserve the sea creatures.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo said on Tuesday that the Raja Ampat administration had taken a major leap in fighting shark hunting by issuing regional regulation (banning shark and manta ray hunting.

"I really hope that the actions of the Raja Ampat administration encourages other regions to follow suit, especially areas like East Nusa Tenggara [NTT] and West Nusa Tenggara [NTB], where sharks remain under threat," Sharif said at the National Symposium on Shark Protection on Tuesday.

Last week, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (COP CITES) included four species of sharks in its Appendix II list - a list of species that are not yet threatened with extinction, but the trade of which should be closely controlled.

Indonesia, which has ratified the treaty that aims to protect precious timber and marine species from over-exploitation, is expected to respond to the conference's result.

"The ministry is preparing a ministerial decree to ban shark hunting that will be ready in around three months, and we will socialise the decree in all of the country's provinces," he added.

Shark hunting in waters off the eastern part of Indonesia, including the provinces of NTT, NTB, West Papua and Papua, as well as Maluku, is still taking place at an alarming rate, Sharif said. "Sharks are at the top of the food chain, and their extinction could cause serious damage to our ecosystem," he said.

Separately, Raja Ampat Regent Marcus Wanma said the regency was home to 75 per cent of the world's coral reef types, as well as 1,320 species of fish.

The decreasing number of sharks and manta rays has affected the ecosystem, causing a decline in the number of tourists visiting the regency's underwater attractions as well.

"Shark hunting is a big threat to the economy and ecosystem in Raja Ampat. Based on this, the administration decided to issue this regulation solely to protect the sustainability of the regency," Marcus said.

Issued in October 2012, the regulation stipulates anybody caught hunting any species of shark or manta ray will face at least a six month jail term and a fine of 50 million rupiah (US$5,148).

"Most hunters are foreigners, because the local community in Raja Ampat are more dependent on the tourism sector," Marcus said.

Separately, Mark Erdmann, a senior adviser to Conservation International's marine program, said Indonesia was the world's biggest shark exporter, with 15 per cent of the world's shark fins and manta ray gill plates coming from Indonesia.

Erdmann said a slain shark was valued from 100,000 to 1.3 million rupiah, and is therefore considered a profitable trade by many living in coastal areas.

"The ban on shark hunting has raised concerns as it threatens the livelihoods of local fishermen, but actually local communities can benefit more from underwater tourism if they allowed sharks and manta rays to live," Erdmann said.

He said in the tourism industry, the attraction of one shark pulled in around 300 million to 1.8 billion rupiah per year, around 18 billion rupiah in its lifetime. He added that a slain manta ray was valued at around US$40 to $200, but could be worth around US$1.9 million in its lifetime if left to reside in a tourism destination.

"Manta ray tourism gives the country a total income of US$15 million per year, while manta ray hunting only brings in around US$570,000 per year," he said. "The numbers show which side is more profitable."

*US$1=9,746 rupiah

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • A weekend of premium cars
    A weekend of premium cars

    Good news to all luxury car fanatics as PGA Cars, the exclusive importer and distributor of Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley cars in the country, will be holding the PGA Cars Premium Festival from May 29 to May 31 at the PGA Center in Global City in Taguig. The 3-day event will showcase PGA’s latest […] The post A weekend of premium cars appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. However, the bonus of personnel with pending administrative and criminal cases has been deferred as per administrative policy, according to PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options