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Bill to foster manta rays awaiting Lingle's OK


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POSTED: Sunday, May 10, 2009

Legislation to bar the knowing capture or killing of manta rays in Hawaii state waters is headed to Gov. Linda Lingle's desk after passage by the state House and Senate last week.

The bill, HB 366, would allow the rays to be captured only for educational, scientific, management and propagation purposes. A special permit from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources would be required.

There is no immediate threat to manta rays in Hawaiian waters. But there is growing demand in some Asian countries for their dried gill rakers for use in traditional medicine. They also are hunted for food and captured for display in public aquariums.