Sri Lankan Sharks and Many Others in Trouble

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The manta ray — a valuable ocean resource — is in drastic decline across Southeast Asia.

This week, in Thailand at the Conference of the Parties on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Indonesia has a chance to vote on doing something to stop that decline. Brazil, Columbia and Ecuador have proposed to add manta ray to the list of species protected in international trade under CITES. We think Indonesia should vote “yes”. Legally and economically, the proposal makes sense.

The Sri Lankan shark fishery, for example, declined by about 87 percent from 2000 to 2008, from about 34,380 to 4,410 sharks, when they tried to meet China’s demand for shark fins. How long until Indonesia’s manta rays suffer the same decline?


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