Recently shocking pictures pass through the Internet; photos of manta rays slaughtered and cut in pieces. The demand for Manta Ray is rising and threatens this gentle giant.
In order to protect Manta Rays back in 2008 Yap Island’s Governor Sebestian Anefal has asked Yap State's 7th Legislature to create a law to protect our Manta Rays. In 2008 Senator John Mooteb introduced BILL NO. 7-69 which shortly after should become YAP STATE LAW NO.7-36.
Since August 15, 2008 the waters of Yap State, an area of 8,243 sq. miles (21,349 km2) with over 140 islands is a Manta Sanctuary.
It is a felony to do any harm to a manta ray!
Section 1206. Offense.
Except as may be authorized by law, including custom and tradition, any person, who intentionally, knowingly, or negligently injures, harms, or causes the death of a manta ray, or removes a manta ray from the sanctuary, or keeps a manta ray in captivity, shall be guilty of a felony. Any person who intentionally and knowingly catches a manta ray is guilty of a felony. Any person committing such offenses, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for a period not less than six months and not more than 5 years, or fined not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000.00, or both."
As Yap's premium dive resort, Yap Pacific Dive Resort & Yap Pacific Divers appreciate any conservation effort and especially conservation efforts which keep Yap Island a paradise for divers. We are very happy to see, that more and more conservation projects have been started. We will keep you posted on this issue.