How Do We Minimize the Impact of Tuna Fishing on Manta and Devil Rays? Just Ask Fishers.
Fishers offer creative insight to reduce manta and devil ray bycatch
As it turns out, fishers themselves may have some of the best answers.
Manta and devil rays (together referred to as Mobulids) are an incredibly captivating group of large fish species and iconic ocean flagship species. However, these species are experiencing global declines due to accidental capture or “bycatch” in industrial tuna fisheries, including purse seine fisheries.
In a new blog for ISSF, Melissa Cronin, doctoral student and Grand Prize winner in ISSF’s International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Seafood Sustainability Contest, reviews her collaborative work with purse seine vessel skippers and crew on handling-and-release methods to reduce the mortality of manta rays and devil rays incidentally caught during fishing.
ISSF published a position statement for consideration at the 100th session of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), which will take place August 1-5, 2022. The statement covers topics in these categories: tuna conservation; fish aggregating device (FAD) management; harvest strategies; monitoring, control, and surveillance; bycatch and sharks; compliance; and capacity management.
A Spanish version is available.
Saving the Mobula Rays Poster: Eastern Pacific Ocean
A poster for tuna fishers shows five ray species found in Eastern Pacific tuna fisheries. It also provides location and life-cycle information and illustrates “acceptable” and “not acceptable” handling and release techniques to reduce ray bycatch.
“Saving the Mobula Rays” is shared courtesy of ISSF Seafood Sustainability Contest Grand Prize Winner Melissa Cronin.
The poster is available in different languages and for different ocean regions.