Last Saturday in Bali, officials from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society, seized 103kg of manta gills, a then record total, and arrested 60 year old Suhari who now faces a potential maximum prison sentence of six years and a fine of $125,000.
Then on the following Monday, at Juanda Airport in Surabaya, quarantine officials confiscated an even larger shipment of manta gill plates – a 226kgs stockpile harvested from over 80 individual rays.
The gill plates were being exported to Hong Kong on an AirAsia flight, where they were to be sold in pseudo-medicinal tonics as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, believed (by idiots) to cure a range of ailments from chicken pox to cancer.
(Full story here.)
While President Jokowi sets out his much needed vision of a maritime corridor, which includes a productive fishing industry, he has to not only grapple with the now accepted fact that climate warming is raising sea levels to the detriment of the country’s coastal regions but also that the health of the surrounding ocean is being put at risk by some unscrupulous criminals among the rakyat.
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