31 Mar '17, 3pm

Turning the tide for devil #rays:

Turning the tide for devil #rays:

Both devil and manta rays are threatened by the international trade in their gill plates. The rays are filter-feeders, using their cartilaginous gill plate filaments to ‘sieve’ a living – filtering plankton and small fishes from the sunlit surface waters. Gill plates are in high demand in southern China and in Chinatowns around the world, fetching up to $400 per kilogram at the final point of sale. The trade favours the large gill plates of the two manta ray species and the three largest devil ray species, but gill plates from smaller species and juveniles have also been seen in markets. The gill plates are marketed under the trade name Peng Yu Si , and are the key ingredient in a tonic that is purported to prevent sickness by boosting the immune system and enhancing blood circulation. Evidence of its health benefits is lacking, however. Its use in Traditional Chinese Medi...

Full article: https://www.iucn.org/news/species/201703/turning-tide-dev...

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