Raja Ampat, as the paradise on earth is one of the area located in the world’s coral triangle which has the world’s highest level of biodiversity, with 1,318 species of reef fish (Allen and Erdmann, 2009) out of a total of 1,854 species of reef fish found in the Bird’s Head Seascape (BHS)– Papua, and 533 hard coral species (Turak and Devantier, 2008). However, the the high number value of diversity, might not always promise an optimal ecological balance. This is reflected in the number decline of several top predators in the food chain every year, which one of it happens to be zebra shark (Stegostoma tigrinum). The practice of sharks and rays finning in the past has had a continuous effect upon the ocean conditions until the present time. The biological characteristics of sharks and rays with low fecundity (number of eggs) and slow to mature, has made them very vulnerable to extinction (Fahmi et al, 2013).Decline number of zebra hark doesn’t only occur in the area of Raja Ampat, but also across the South East Asia Countries (Dudgeon et al, 2019). If the unbalance ecology system continues, then the chance of losing the species in it’s natural habitat and the other potential snowball effects that come afterwards will be greater than we think.

An active conservation efforts and significant involvement of various parties will hold a tremendous impact towards this situation. Since 2020, various parties consisting of the government, NGOs, researchers, and the communities, has unified one vision and mission to create an initiative for change. The StAR (Stegostoma tigrinum Augmentation and Recovery) project is an initiative that focuses on restoring zebra shark populations back to their natural habitat.

Our collaboration with other 70 organizations from 11 countries hopefully can bring a greater positive impact to turn back the wave in restoring back the healthy population of zebra shark and strengthening the balance of marine ecosystems now and in the future.

Our Partners