Indonesian Manta Project

We’re donating $1 to Indonesian Manta Project for every Manta Ray Bracelet sold this month. Our donation will advance manta ray conservation by funding crucial long-term research that will guide the creation and enforcement of policies that protect these gentle giants.


Why 4ocean is partnering with Indonesian Manta Project

Indonesian Manta Project was founded by Thrive Conservation in 2010 to address a major gap in manta ray research and conservation in Indonesia. The organization provides crucial scientific data that guides the creation and implementation of effective conservation initiatives that address the threats causing manta ray populations to decline. They also work to educate the local community about the ecologic and economic importance of protecting these charismatic ocean inhabitants.

Thanks in part to the efforts of Indonesian Manta Project, both species of manta ray were granted full protection under Indonesian law in 2014, making this vast archipelago the world’s largest sanctuary for manta rays. With our help, Indonsian Manta Project will continue their conservation efforts and conduct long-term research and monitoring so we can better protect and recover manta populations globally.


Our donation will be used to advance manta ray conservation


Reduce manta mortality and promote population recovery

Indonesia is the world’s largest shark and ray fishing nation and, as such, is in need of effective shark and ray conservation. In recent years, NGOs and the government have increased their focus on these issues, but there are still conservation gaps. Right now, most of their efforts focus on national policy and fisheries data collection, but localized efforts that directly reduce mortality and ensure population recovery are limited.

The Indonesian Manta Project aims to fill these gaps by setting up frontline conservation programs in the areas where they’re needed most. Right now, their efforts are primarily focused in two key regions of Indonesia: The Bird’s Head Seascape and the Savu Sea, which are some of the most biodiverse marine regions on the planet.


The Bird’s Head Seascape Program

The Indonesian Manta Project has been unraveling the mysteries of Raja Ampat’s manta rays since 2011. Their work spans from Misool in the south, through Dampier Strait, and up to Ayau in the far north. They’re also exploring manta populations in the more remote areas of the Bird’s Head Seascape such as Kaimana and Cendrawasih Bay.

Utilizing local residents’ invaluable knowledge, Indonesian Manta Project has spent countless hours investigating Raja Ampat’s most remote corners to uncover the secret lives of the manta rays that roam these productive waters.

Their research continues to bring new awareness and insights about these charismatic ocean inhabitants such as the discovery of one of the world’s most picturesque manta nurseries in the Wayag Lagoon.

Indonesian Manta Project also works closely with government and NGO partners to develop effective protections and management plans to ensure manta rays continue to thrive in the Bird’s Head Seascape.

To date, the team behind this project has:

- Developed a database of over 1,000 individual manta rays that continues to grow

- Used satellite and acoustic tags to uncover movement patterns

- Conducted numerous manta surveys in unexplored areas

- Helped improve manta tourism management plans

- Trained and advised the local government manta workforce that’s responsible for enforcing management plans

With our help, Indonesian Manta Project will continue to:

- Monitor manta populations

- Provide more valuable insight into their movements, habitat use, and everything in between

- Develop and support management plans that will have a direct impact on the health and abundance of manta rays in this region


The Savu Sea Program

The Savu Seascape is an overlooked but critically important marine region in Indonesia. Oceanographic features like deep trenches, seamounts, and upswelling currents create important habitat for large migratory species like manta rays.

In 2014, the Savu Sea was designated as a National Park, but the government has unfortunately had little capacity to socialize, manage, and enforce park regulations. As such, illegal and destructive activities continue to threaten the marine ecosystem and the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities.

Furthermore, some of Indonesia’s biggest shark and ray fishing grounds are in the Savu Sea, including the manta and whale hunting villages of Lamakera and Lamalera. That’s why conservation efforts in the Savu Sea don’t stop with mantas, but extend to other vulnerable shark and ray species and the protection of critical habitats. Indonesian Manta Project is working with the local community, government, tourism industry, and other NGOs to better understand and safeguard the Savu Sea.

To date, the Indonesian Manta Project has:

- Discovered a number of previously unknown manta sites in the Savu Sea

- Conducted long-term manta research and monitoring at key sites

- Helped ex-manta hunters transition to alternative, sustainable livelihoods

- Reduced targeted manta fishing in Lamakera by 97%

- Conducted a shark biodiversity assessment in Rote Island

- Developed an educational guide about Rote’s marine environment

- Provided numerous internships for local and national Indonesian students to foster a growing community of conservationists

With our help, Indonesian Manta Project will continue to:

- Provide better insight into manta populations and the threats they face and do the same for vulnerable shark and ray populations in the Savu Sea

- Develop community-based conservation initiatives at key sites

- Help improve the effectiveness of the marine national park

See our impact!