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.
To find out which shark species occur in Puerto Rican waters, Glorimar is using genetics and getting samples from fish markets. She also relies on the assistance of local fishers. Filling this fundamental knowledge gap will help to assess local consumption of sharks and build up the community’s understanding of how sharks function in the marine ecosystem.
Shark fishing is becoming increasingly important in St Vincent, but little is known about the shark populations there. Catherine is figuring out which sharks live there and how they are utilised by local communities. She’s working with fishermen to achieve sustainable management of these fisheries.
At the northern extent of the hugely productive waters of the Benguela Ecosystem, Angola’s rich waters support a huge artisanal fishing fleet. Ana is unlocking information about sharks and rays in the region, building the baseline for managing and protecting these species in West African waters.