The busts are part of an ongoing crackdown on manta ray trade in Indonesia - from late August to early September, four major arrests were made on wildlife traffickers in the country, blowing the lid off a massive illegal trade.
Working alongside WCS, Conservation International and local authorities, Hong Kong-based photographer Paul Hilton has been documenting the busts as they happen. Read more about Hilton's experience with the investigation here.
While conservationists have applauded the busts, they point out that airlines shouldn't be supporting the industry by shipping the products.
"We commend the Indonesian Government for stepping up their enforcement actions by clamping down on illicit manta ray poaching," said Alex Hofford, a wildlife campaigner for WildAid who has worked to pressure airlines to stop shipping shark fins.
"We also commend AirAsia for banning shark fin from their flights earlier this year, but think it's a shame the airline's shark fin ban does not currently also extend to manta rays," he said. "However, we would like to think that in light of today's bust by the Indonesian government, that the 26 shark-free airlines around the world will be looking to tighten their cargo policies – if only to avoid embarrassment – by also banning manta rays for their cargo holds."
The airlines Hofford is targeting are Air Asia, Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air, all of which operate in Indonesia.