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Current fishing levels present a clear and immediate threat to the survival of many manta and mobula species

Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs
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Growing demand has transformed the once small-scale substinence fishing for mantas and mobulas into targeted commerical fisheries that serve a global distribution network.

In just a few short years, regional populations of mobulids have already been severely depleted and in some cases have largely disappeared.

Why? This international trade is being driven by demand for the dried gills of mantas and mobulas to be used in an "unofficial" Traditional Chinese Medicine tonic. Dried gills from a giant manta ray may retail for up to $500 per kilogram in China, wheras the meat is consumed locally and holds little value.

No medical evidence exists for marketing claims that the gills can treat health problems that include chicken pox, cancer, infertility and more. 

SharkSavers has partnered with WildAid and a team of the top manta researchers in the world on the Manta Ray of Hope project to save mantas and mobulas from this unsustainable trade.