“Mantas Last Dance” – Unless We Help!

Written by on February 26, 2013 in Fish, Policy & Ocean Law
Manta ray.

Manta ray. Photo credit: NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Last week, Blue Sphere Media released a beautiful video of a woman swimming and dancing with manta rays.

The video was released as part of an effort to protect manta rays. In the last decade, manta ray populations have faced increasing danger as a market for their gill plates has emerged in Asia.

According to Manta Trust, the gill plates account for only a tiny percentage of the manta ray’s mass, but they sell for much more than the rest of the body put together. The gill plates are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine even though they are a relatively new product. There is also a lack of evidence to support claims that gill plates provide any medicinal benefits.

The video comes just in time for the March 2013 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES ) meeting – CoP16. At the meeting, activists are hoping that manta rays will get listed under Appendix II, which would require anyone looking to sell manta ray parts to get a permit.

Appendix II includes species that aren’t currently threatened with extinction, but are in danger of heading that direction unless trade is properly managed. That’s the primary message of the video: we need act now to protect manta rays before they’re lost forever.

Mantas Last Dance from Blue Sphere Media on Vimeo.

If this is an issue that concerns you, you can sign the petition on Avaaz: Protect Manta Rays

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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