Rhino ray conservation in Indonesia

  • Rays & Skates
Years funded
  • 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Active
Project types
  • Conservation
  • Research
  • Rekam Jejak Alam Nusantara Foundation

Een is the executive director of the Rekam Nusantara Foundation in Indonesia, where he works with a variety of partners and stakeholders. His key concern lies in building local support for rhino ray conservation and management in the north Java Sea. Giant guitarfishes and wedgefishes (collectively dubbed rhino rays for their pointed snouts and Endangered status) are some of the most threatened species in the ocean. Through fisheries and marine programmes, Een hopes to continue to work with the Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Central Java, and Diponegoro University, to find urgent solutions.

Rhino ray conservation in Indonesia

Een Irawan Putra

Project leader
About the project leader

I have worked in the field of conservation for more than 16 years, campaigning on environmental issues and advocating for the sustainable management of natural resources. I have conducted numerous meetings and negotiations to foster cooperation between various elements of the central government and across its ministries or agencies, and also in local government at provincial, district and city levels. Developing strong relationships between academics at various universities in Indonesia, local and national NGOs, international NGOs, donor agencies, media and communities is also an important part of my career. In 2020-2021 I was special staff for environmental affairs and natural...

Project details

Building local support for the future of rhinoray conservation and management in the Java sea

Key objective

To generate awareness and understanding of rhino ray populations and how to manage their fisheries sustainably in the waters off the North Coast, Java.

Why is this important

We are determined to help promote an inclusive partnership that undertakes the conservation and management of rhino rays, one that acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of all targeted communities and working partners. At the same time it is important to build the importance and value of rhino ray populations into any long-term conservation agreement and partnership.


According to our monitoring of shark landings since April 2019 in the North Coast region of Java, more than 7,000 rhino rays, comprising four wedgefish and two giant guitarfish species, have been caught in the Java Sea and landed in three large fishing ports along the coast. These findings have given us hope that there are still rhino ray populations in some parts of the Java Sea. They also indicate that a proper and sustainable fisheries management for rhino rays in the Java Sea should be implemented to help these populations survive and even thrive. We have entered into a collaborative agreement with the Central Java provincial government to assist in the development of fisheries management for wedgefish in the Java Sea. Our project will be a critical stepping stone to advance local support for both the development and the implementation of this management. Next we plan to continue expanding our reach from the public in general to high-level policy-makers and to ensure that they understand our messages about rhino ray populations and their conservation. These efforts will be based on the lessons we have learnt in the three main fishing ports in North Coast: Tegal Regency, Pati Regency and Rembang Regency.

Aims & objectives

After learning more from each targeted community, academics and local figures in our area, we are keen to highlight the inclusive collaboration between local communities, academics, media and other socio-cultural groups. This will be useful as an inspirational conservation model that fosters the awareness and understanding of the challenges facing rhino ray populations and the huge potential for them to be managed sustainably.