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PERU BANS FISHING OF MANTA RAYS AND MANDATES RELEASE OF BYCATCH

01/11/2016

On December 31, 2015, Peru’s Minister of Production passed a resolution that banned fishing of manta rays, among other stipulations. The resolution requires that mantas that are caught must be released immediately back into the ocean. The largest known populations of giant manta rays live in Peru and Ecuador. Ecuador began protecting manta rays in 2010, and Peru’s new ban adds to this protection. Other countries, including the Republic of Maldives, Mexico, and the Philippines, have passed regulations for manta ray protection. Manta rays are threatened by entanglement in fishing lines, gill nets, and Chinese traditional medicine. For Chinese retailers, manta ray gill plates are believed to help cure illnesses such as chickenpox. The species, which reproduce very slowly, are listed as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Peru's new regulation, however, does not protect Mobula rays, which belong to the same family. For the full story, see http://news.mongabay.com/2016/01/peru-to-protect-worlds-largest-known-population-of-giant-manta-rays/