Discover the work of Indonesian Elasmobranch guardians

The Wisesa crew has, like many ocean lovers, a strong commitment to protect the ocean’s biodiversity, and since we sail the Raja Ampat archipelago, we do what we can to protect its marine life, particularly Elasmobranchs.

Fortunately, many of us are passionate about them and do whatever we can to make sure that more people know about these magnificent creatures. This is the case of NGO Elasmobranch Project Indonesia (EPI).

Elasmobranchs are a group of cartilaginous fish that include species such as sharks, rays, and skates. In Indonesia, there are several species of elasmobranchs found in the country's waters, including:

  • Reef sharks: such as the blacktip reef shark and the whitetip reef shark
  • Skates: including the bluespotted skate and the black skate
  • Stingrays: including the marbled stingray and the honeycomb whipray
  • Sawfishes: including the narrow sawfish and the largetooth sawfish.

Indonesia is home to a rich diversity of marine life, including many species of elasmobranchs, making it a popular destination for shark and ray enthusiasts. As a matter of a fact, the diversity of elasmobranchs in Indonesia is among the highest in the world.

Out of the more than 1250 species of elasmobranchs in the world, Indonesian waters are home to 118 species of sharks, 101 species of rays and skates, and 6 species of chimaeras.

Thus, the work of NGO Elasmobranch Project Indonesia (EPI) is absolutely critical. They have a strong commitment in protecting this group of fish through their many activities:

  • Campaigns: participate in campaigns, citizen science projects, and research to aid in the preservation of elasmobranchs. 
  • Mapping: ensuring that the Elasmobranch diversity and distribution in Indonesia are mapped.
  • Up-to-date information: By adopting a user-friendly citizen science approach and network, you may provide real-time, up-to-date information about elasmobranch sightings and landings throughout Indonesia.
  • Awareness: increase the understanding of and participation in elasmobranch conservation in Indonesia within a diverse age and employment range.

One of their more exciting activities is that Elasmobranch Indonesia invites anyone to make a report of their sighting.

It’s true that with the increase of underwater camera use, which became way more affordable, every tourist or regular local diver can make reports about what they see. It’s a way to assist the organisation who can’t be everywhere, and to feel like being a scientist in your own right!

This is where Wisesa Cruise Directors come in. He’s a regular contributor to the team through his underwater photography capacity.

Join the team if you dive around the area and report to EPI your sightings! They will be extremely grateful and you would have done a great deal for Elasmobranchs and your personal pride!

Obviously, to enhance the chances of this project's success, EPI collaborates closely with specialists, scientists, students, and—most importantly—the Indonesian people.

EPI aims to spread the awareness required for the conservation of shark, ray, skate, and chimaera in Indonesia as well as critical knowledge about the diversity of elasmobranchs in Indonesia. their data will be able to support information on distribution at the local, state, and federal levels (IUCN).

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