TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The manta rays are so elegant that not only it have played a great role in attracting divers but it have also become an important asset in the development of marine tourism in Indonesia.
This was stated by Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti in a written statement received on Saturday. "If viewed from an economic standpoint, the use of pari manta in marine tourism activities could be very promising," the minister stated.
The marine tourism activities structured around manta rays will bring economic benefit not only to players in the tourism sector, but also for the fishermen, she explained. SusI further noted that based studies conducted in 2013, Indonesia has the third largest manta-based tourism in the world, with the total annual value reaching US$ 15 million.
Citing an example, the minister disclosed that at tourist destinations in Nusa Penida, Klungkung, Bali, the manta rays can contribute up to Rp9.75 billion. Also, Indonesia is one of the few countries in the world that has two species of manta, namely Manta Alfredi and Manta Birostris, which can become tourism attractions.
Pari manta (manta rays) is the largest in the world with a wingspan of up to 7 meters.