21 Jul '12, 9am
Manta rays are being slaughtered at an alarming rate. We can help stop the madness. Please sign this petition
They’re easy targets. Moving slowly through the ocean, often in predictable aggregations – these gentle, filter-feeding giants are being slaughtered at an alarming rate. International trade in these species, driven by Asian markets for Chinese medicine, poses an immediate threat to their survival. Catch of mantas reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization has almost quadrupled in seven years. Demand for the manta rays’ gill rakers – the tight-knit, feathery structures that strain plankton – has recently surged, placing manta populations in grave danger. Mantas have been classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are at particular risk to overfishing because they produce very few young. Many populations have already been depleted by unregulated fishing. Although legally protected in some nations and specific aggregatio...