There are some reports of Mobulid catches in Tumbes, one of the northern department of Peru, during 2011. A total of 111.4 t has been registered in this region with a maximum of 42.5 in August and a minimal of 1.2 in April (average: 9.3 t). It is major than Mobulid catches in Ecuador in 2009, before the Ministry Agreement 093-2010, when 83 t were reported in two ports. That was the main reason of our study area: Tumbes.
Some years ago, I did some work in Tumbes, on coastal – marine management, and I knew La Cruz. In this July, I returned to La Cruz. La Cruz (The Cross) is located in 03°37’53” S and 80°35’03″O. and has a 1575 people which depends on fishery and a total of 52 vessels. In this time, also we have visited others village like: Zorritos, Cancas and Acapulco, in order to know fishermen, to choose some observers on ports and to know the manta-fishers relation in these villages.
Zorritos is located in 03º39’15”O and 80º35’57”S and has a 400 people which depends on fishery and a total of 32 vessels. Here, I found in the beach a specimen of Mobula, caught by a gillnet vessel and which will be carried 350 Km far away, to Lambayeque department.
Acapulco is located in 03º44’19”O and 80º46’24”S and has a 1400 people which depends on fishery and a total of 102 vessels. Cancas is located in 03°56’10″O and 80°56’18″‘S and has a 3300 people which depends on fishery and a total of 200 vessels. Although La Cruz, Zorritos, Cancas and Acapulco are ports of landing, only the last two have a deck. Also, in Acapulco we observed a truck refrigerator carrying some Mobula and tunas. We realize that all specimen of Mobula arrive cut in two parts and without viscera unless fishermen catch small specimens.
Talking with some local people, they said that mantas are not target species, but if they do not have enough fishes to sell, they look for mantas to cover, at least, the expenses of the fishing travel. An important activity of this project is an interview with fishermen; we expect to know other kind of aspects, like: markets, investment and profits of trade of Manta and Mobula ray.
Finally, we choose some local people and prepare a workshop to observers in ports, train to collect biological and fishery data of Manta and Mobula Rays. We will try to inform about that activity in the next post.