Manta rays are world-renowned for their charismatic beauty, gentle behavior, and inquisitive, playful nature. For this reason, tourists spend nearly US $140 million annually to see these manta rays in the wild providing an important source of income to many countries.
However over the past decade, a market has emerged in Asia for ray gill plates as a tonic, which has no basis in official Traditional Chinese Medicine and no proven health benefits.
How can we protect these vulnerable manta ray populations? CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is a binding international agreement between governments. Now, an important international petition by AVAAZ.org, ‘The World In Action’, calls for CITES member countries to vote in support of listing manta rays under Appendix II of CITES during the next meeting in March 2013. And, to better empower concerned citizens all over the world, this important petition is now available in:
This important global petition in support of manta ray conservation will soon also be available in the following languages: Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Hebrew, Turkish, Polish, and Romanian. All signatures, across all these individual language webpages will be combined into one, single global petition to be submitted to CITES delegates to show broad, urgent multi- and international support for listing manta rays on Appendix II.
With a two-thirds majority vote, the international trade in manta rays will be controlled in order to avoid unsustainable levels of trade that threaten the survival of these beautiful and valuable animals.
For more information please check the following links:
The Manta Trust: http://www.mantatrust.org
Manta Ray of Hope Project: http://www.mantarayofhope.com