Manta rays are an integral part of Hawaii’s marine ecosystem and are essential in promoting and sustaining Hawaii’s growing marine tourism industry, one of the states primary sources of revenue. Manta ray night dive operations off Kona, Hawaii, produce over 2.5 million dollars in revenue annually for this small community. However, sustainability is the key to long-term prosperity for both the manta rays and the community.
The Manta Ray Awareness Program
Protect and preserve the beauty and diversity of Hawaii’s coastline.
A recent demand in East Asia for manta ray gill arches to be used in medicine poses the greatest immediate threat to the manta rays. This has caused a dramatic increase in fishing pressure throughout Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa and has led to significant population declines in the Philippines, Mexico, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia. Since June 5th, 2009, a law was passed making it illegal to knowingly kill or capture a manta ray in Hawaii State waters. Without such a law, Hawaii’s small, island-associated populations could be severely threatened.
To view Hawaii Bill 366 HD2 SD2 CD1 click here