The idea of Manta Memories was born in 2012 and was initiated by the Foundation for the Oceans of the Future (www.futureoceans.hu). Manta rays are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, CITES Appendix II. has been accepted recently which bans the international trade of manta ray parts. However, local fishing and trade within each country is not regulated in most countries. At some remote fishing villages in third world countries people do not have alternative income options, they have no other choice but to fish for manta rays for their survival and to support their families.
Barefoot Island Resort
`During my research on manta rays I experienced that people are very much interested in finding out more about these misterious, friendly animals and would like to own items that remind them of these majestic creatures `- explains Csilla Ari, Ph.D., the principal investigator of the Foundation. `I was always approached by enthusiastic tourists, divers to sell them my photos of manta rays, I thought, why not people in fishing villages make handicrafts to create memories of manta rays and support themselves this way instead of having to fish them?` I decided to set up a network of Production Centers that collect manta ray related handicraft items from local artists and Distribution Centers that sell these items and send the profit back to the Production Centers to distribute it to the local artists. If you would like to help us to save manta rays by helping people, please apply to serve as a Production Center or Distribution Center.
Even if manta ray fishing is already illegal and they are on the CITES Appendix II., illegal fishing continues until the communities do not find alternative income options.
The first Production Centers was established around Lombok, Indonesia, in 2014. Contact us if you would like to serve as a Production Center, which means that you are willing to collect handicrafts from local artists, ship them to the Distribution Center and distribute the money back to the local artists.
Contact us if you would like to serve as a Distribution Center, which means that you are willing to sell Manta Memories items and donate the profit to help the fishing villages.