A Peruvian conservationist has fought to get these giant manta rays officially protected, but is this enough?
Kerstin Forsberg, a Peruvian conservationist, has pioneered the protection of Peru’s giant manta ray. Thanks to her efforts, the Peruvian government has added the manta ray to the protected species list.
They are noteworthy for their size with spans reaching up to 7 meters (23 feet) long.
The manta ray faces the danger of extinction because they are slow to reproduce and prone to getting caught in fishing nets. Forsberg works not only to put this protection into law but to transform the fisherman’s perspective by integrating them into a sustainable tourism project.
Her NGO Planeta Oceano also works with local schools.
Essentially, the fishermen stand to gain much more by preserving the manta ray’s life and bringing tourists out to swim with the giant creatures,
Find out more in this report from DW English on Youtube. It is a prime example of how an ecological threat can be turned into an opportunity and better the lives of local communities.
For more information on Kerstin Forsberg’s award-winning NGO, check out Planeta Oceano’s official website.