Slow-breeding manta and mobula rays are easily over-fished. Liliana is conducting the first study of mobulid fishing in Peru – a vital step to ensuring these species’ survival in the region.
This project will assess the composition, distribution, sex ratio, sizes, investment, profits and markets of the mobulid rays (Mobulidae) fishery on the northern coast of Peru through interviews and observations in ports.
We need to know the size of this fishery in order to inform authorities and establish strategies to manage it. This project will assess the species, gear characteristics, quantities, ports and seasons in which fishermen are catching mobulid rays.
Among elasmobranchs, the relationship between body size and range size is a good predictor of a species susceptibility to extinction. Mobulidae are zooplanktivorous elasmobranchs comprising two recognised species of manta rays (Manta spp.) and nine recognised species of devil rays (Mobula spp.). Manta birostris is one of the species in this group most prone to extinction in the tropical eastern Pacific. There are some reports of Mobulid catches in Tumbes (northern Peru) during all months of 2011. A total of 111.4 tonnes has been registered here. This is more than the Mobulid catches in Ecuador during 2009, before the Ministry Agreement 093-2010, when 83 tonnes were reported in two ports.
Very little is known about the seafood industry in Guatemala, especially when it comes to sharks and rays, but at certain times of year the demand for shark products is high. Ana will use DNA testing to find out which elasmobranchs are being consumed and how often.