Project

Global manta & devil ray conservation

Species
  • Rays & Skates
Years funded
  • 2013, 2014, 2015
Status
  • Archived
Project type
  • Conservation
Description

Globally, manta and mobula rays are under serious threat as they are targeted for their gills plates, which are sold as a treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Nick is developing a worldwide network and strategy to ensure these rays remain a part of our oceans.

Global manta & devil ray conservation

Nick Dulvy

Project leader
About the project leader
I have often wondered what is hidden beneath the silvery veneer of the water’s surface. That film is so thin, yet what lies underneath is profoundly different from the air and land above that are so familiar to us.I first marvelled at what lay beneath the surfaces of the myriad rivers and lakes of Ireland. An old fishing rod opened the door to a new world of red-eyed roach, surface-feeding shoals of rudd and shoals of bream. Little was I to know that this would lead to a Bachelor’s degree in zoology and physiology (fish studies) rather than biotechnology, and...
PROJECT LOCATION : Worldwide
All news about this project
By Lydia Green, Manta Watch New Zealand Project Leader, 29th October 2019
Could New Zealand’s offshore waters be the perfect manta nursery?
New Zealand’s offshore environment has always captivated me, sparking an inner excitement and freedom that grows the further you venture. Out of sight and mind of the mainland, electric blue water and prehistoric islands are unified by an endless horizon. The sheer diversity of life…
By Simon Hilbourne (Maldives Oceanic Manta Ray Project Leader), 25th October 2019
Ocean giants in the Maldives deep south
The Maldives is widely regarded as one of the best locations in the world to dive and snorkel with reef manta rays. However, when talking about their larger cousins, the oceanic mantas, locations that more often spring to mind are Socorro, Ecuador, or Raja Ampat.…
By Paul Jackson (Chairman of the Manta Trust Board of Trustees), 21st October 2019
A Chairman’s Holiday; meeting the Manta Trust
I am coming to the end of another fantastic trip to the Maldives. As Chairman of the Manta Trust’s Board of Trustees, I try to use some of my annual holiday to make the trip to Baa Atoll to meet up with the charity’s team…
By Betty Laglbauer, 14th October 2019
Standing up for the Little Guys: The Indonesia Mobula Project – Pt 2
It is my ambition to help reduce the target and bycatch of mobulid rays, as well as other threatened elasmobranch species, and motivate young Indonesian scientists to conserve their tremendous biodiversity. In an ideal world, we would switch to less destructive fishing methods such as…
By Betty Laglbauer, 10th October 2019
Stading up for the little guys: the Indonesia Mobula Project – Pt 1
I first became hooked on mobulids (manta and devil rays) when I encountered an oceanic manta ray on Christmas Day, 2012, off the coast of Peru. That morning I slipped in unusually clear water close to an oil rig, from the boat of a protesting…
By Annie Murray, 25th September 2019
Protecting the Million-Dollar Mantas
In light of increased fishing pressure on manta and devil ray populations worldwide, an alternative and more sustainable economic practice is blossoming. Manta ecotourism now generates over USD 140 million annually worldwide, with increasing numbers of tourists wanting to catch a glimpse of the enigmatic…
By Nick Dulvy, 21st August 2013
A Global Conservation Strategy for Mantas and Devil Rays: Call for Collaborators
We are just about to complete our first IUCN Conservation Strategy for Sawfishes and with the recent flurry of activity on Mantas (updated IUCN Red Listings and CITES listings) the IUCN Shark Specialist Group really wants to help ensure that some of the momentum and…
Project details

A Global Manta and Devil Ray Conservation Strategy

Key objective

To improve the conservation status of manta and devil rays through the development of a Global Conservation Strategy.

Why is this important

Manta and devil rays are threatened by the international trade in their valuable gill plates. This combined with their slow life history, high catchability and global distribution means that we need a global focus to ensure effective conservation.

Background

Manta and devil rays (family: Mobulidae) are highly mobile, broadly distributed and they routinely cross international boundaries. They are globally threatened by fisheries for the trade of their gill plates, which are highly valued in Asian markets. There is little protection to date; consequently calls for improved protection are increasing. However, the implementation of effective protections depends entirely upon the availability and communication of relevant scientific knowledge to those people best placed to take action. The IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG) is well-placed to coordinate and develop such a global strategy for the conservation of mobulids. Our role is to provide a suitable environment and framework within a broad group of people and organisations that can work towards developing a global mobulid conservation strategy within the wider experience of IUCN conservation planning.

Aims & objectives

We anticipate the following achievements during our first year:

  • Develop a Global Manta and Devil Ray Network consisting of Guy Stevens, project leaders of SOSF-funded projects and other relevant scientists;
  • Maintain and expand this network through communication activities, such as quarterly newsletters, expertise and knowledge surveys, hosted on IUCN SSG webspace; and
  • Consult with the network (Guy Stevens, SOSF-funded projects and other relevant scientists) to identify goals and outputs of the Global Manta and Devil Ray Conservation Strategy workshop.