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Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Save The Manta
There are certain creatures in the ocean that are beautiful to watch below you while you are swimming in the ocean: dolphins, turtles and manta rays come immediately to mind.
The mantas are so graceful as they glide through the water so easily.
But manta ray gills are traditionally sold in China, marketed with unproven claims to increase the amount of breast milk, detoxify the blood, cure chickenpox, heal tonsillitis and clear a smoker’s lungs.
Hunted and killed for ills of mankind, the world’s manta population is falling similarly to sharks. But there is reportedly a shift in not only a mindset of consumers, but also very importantly the Chinese government towards a ban on the manta ray gill business.
WildAid reported that Peru has recently approved strong regulations to protect the giant oceanic manta ray, a species particularly vulnerable to fishing activity. WildAid writes, "Manta ray populations are under serious threat worldwide from fisheries targeting mantas for their gills and meat, and from accidental entanglement in nets and fishing line.
Peru has one of the largest remaining populations of giant oceanic manta rays. Last spring, a giant oceanic manta caught in a gill net by a fisherman in Peru made international headlines, sparking calls to strengthen protections for mantas, whose gill plates are often sold in some Asian markets for use in a health tonic.”
Those manta ray gills make their way to China as businessmen fed the Chinese public's appetite for wildlife. WildAid, a conservation group based in San Francisco, launched a campaign in 2014.
Like the success in reducing the consumer demand for shark fins and elephant ivory, the campaign took on various issues in order to slow down the rampage to kill the manta rays and sell their gills as a cure-all.
There have been successes in addition to the Chinese government's actions vis-a-vis the manta rays. Indonesia started to prohibit manta ray fishing within its maritime boundaries in 2014, a year that saw the manta ray received protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
For ocean swimmers and marine tourists around the world, this trend is a very good movement.
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Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
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The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
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An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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