Protect Manta Rays While They Are Still There
The crowd is mix of tourists and locals. They watch the crew of two Indonesian longliners to started dumping large fish over the sides into the shallow waters to be dragged into shore. Fish are dead already but the water still gets bloody as they throw in scalloped hammerheads, thresher, mako, blue, silky, bull, tiger and oceanic white-tips sharks, manta and mobula rays, spinner dolphins and pilot whales. All this load is coming just from these same two boats anchored at Tanjung Luar the largest fish market in Eastern Lombok. Simply one must feel disgusted as Indonesia laws are supposed to protect dolphins and whales but it was obvious that legal protection is not working. No one seems to mind that. Scene like these are simply unacceptable but they are unfortunately daily routine on Tanjung Luar. You can visit this fish hell what ever day and you will get to see pictures one certainly do not want to ever encounter.
The diving tourism or just dolphin watchers generate millions of dollars profit all around Bali therefore we should be more concern about what is happening just 50 miles away. Especially after the discoveries being made by Aquatic Alliance. Their database “Meet Our Mantas” where they try to upload as much as unique pictures of mantas as possible, so by spotting them on different location we would be able to learn little bit more about their migration routines. Recently they were able to confirm based on more than few matches that mantas migrate from Nusa Penida all the way to Komodo and who knows maybe even further. But on the way to Komodo they have to pass around Lombok and its notorious Tanjung Luar where is the largest butchery of mantas in Indonesia happening.
Hope this discovery will only push the Indonesian Government to protect manta rays. Big Thanks Aquatic Alliance for bringing this important information up.