Monday, 16 July 2012

Manta Rays at Risk, Extinction is Forever

Project AWARE

Manta rays, a species close to the heart of every diver and every individual who cares about the future of our ocean, are increasingly threatened with extinction. They have roamed the ocean for 150 million years and yet we are witnessing their ecocide before our eyes.

Demand for manta ray gill rakers – or the internal feathery structures that strain plankton – has risen drastically, driving untold numbers of deaths for the Asian medicine market. The gruesome and cruel destruction of these gentle creatures is needless, tragic and extremely alarming.

As the environmental voice of the global dive community, Project AWARE is working at every turn to ensure that mantas will not disappear on our watch. Help us ensure maximum protection for these animals before it’s too late. The time is now. Make an urgent donation today to support critical conservation efforts to protect mantas globally.

FACT: Manta ray catch has nearly quadrupled in seven years according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

FACT: Project AWARE has a track record of success on this critical issue. In 2011, in coordination with our partners and with your support, we succeeded in safeguarding this wide-ranging, globally threatened species and its key habitats under the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Project AWARE has the global reach and seasoned expertise needed to try to stop this slaughter - but we need your financial support.

FACT: Worldwide value of manta-based tourism and filming is estimated at $100 million USD per year. Manta rays top divers’ must-see list time and again. Divers around the world have of a truly special relationship with marine creatures and this means we must play a pivotal role in their protection.

Project AWARE is now targeting protection for mantas and their close relatives the devil rays under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – the world’s largest, most effective wildlife conservation agreement. CITES protections offer the best hope for controlling the manta trade globally and ensuring species recovery.

The battle ahead is going to be difficult. But our opposition is underestimating us. Dive supporters span the globe as guardians of the sea from surface to depth. We will not let manta rays die silently and needlessly. Exercise this power, make waves and join together with us in protecting mantas and devil rays today.

Visit the Manta Rays at Risk section of our website for more information on the manta gill raker trade. Thank you for your urgent support!

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