Indonesia’s First Shark Sanctuary

Raja Ampat Dedicates Four Million Hectares of Ocean to Sharks

The top of the food chain in Raja Ampat, Indonesia never looked better!

On February 20th 2013, the Raja Ampat government officially announced that it had set aside all of its 4 million hectares of coastal and marine waters as a shark sanctuary. (Read more here!)

Why is this a big deal? For starters, it’s estimated that as many as 73 million sharks are killed each year globally, mostly for their fins.

Shark finning is one of the cruelest practices around—it involves throwing a still-breathing shark overboard with its fins cut off and its body bleeding into the water.

Shark finning isn’t just putting these already vulnerable animals at risk of extinction.

When you remove a top predator—like a shark species—from an ecosystem, that whole ecosystem can become less productive and possibly even collapse.

With at least 20 million people in Indonesia directly depending on fisheries for their livelihoods and as a source of protein, we applaud the Raja Ampat government’s breakthrough policy.

Hopefully this is will inspire other governments in Indonesia and beyond to follow suit!


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