New Protections For World's Largest Population of Giant Manta Rays
Peru and 12 other nations now seek to protect these creatures, whose meat and gill plates are coveted in China.
Giant manta rays captured the world’s attention last April when a fisherman in northern Peru unintentionally caught a behemoth weighing 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms).
The accidental snagging of this large ray (giant oceanic manta rays can weigh up to two tons) served to highlight global threats the rays face, and it spotlighted Peru, in whose waters many of the giants are found.
On December 31, 2015, Peru took a major step toward helping giant manta rays when it passed a resolution that not only bans manta fishing but also requires that fishermen immediately release any mantas caught accidentally as “bycatch” back into the ocean.
It’s not unusual for manta rays to get tangled in nets or fishing lines. But rays are also