Philippines

Some areas, such as Pamilacan Island in Bohol, have a long history of hunting manta rays along with whales and whale sharks79. Following the passage of a ban on catching dolphins and whales in late 1992, whaling communities in the Bohol Sea area shifted more of their efforts to whale sharks and manta rays, and in 1998 twenty six villages were involved in manta and mobula ray fisheries. During the 1995-6 season, 1,000 manta and mobula rays were landed. Interviews with fishermen during a 1996 survey revealed that manta ray catches had declined by 50% over the past 30 years80.

Today the ban on catching and selling of manta rays is still in place, but enforcement varies and the cultural practice of eating manta ray meat persists in some areas81. Traders in Hong Kong continue to report the Philippines as a supplier of dried gill rakers, indicating that an active gill raker trade may still continue in the Philippines82. Further investigation is required to properly assess the extent of mobulid fisheries and the connection to the gill raker trade.