Next Steps

Leveraging the evidence compiled in “The Global Threat to Manta and Mobula Rays” report, we will work with key partners to pursue international and range state protection measures, while laying the groundwork in China to secure a moratorium on the import, export and sale of manta and mobula gill rakers.

International Protection and Trade Restrictions:

  • Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES): Pursue Appendix I or II listing for both manta ray species and the most threatened mobula ray species at the next CITES convention meeting in 2013. CITES is the only international treaty with the authority to enact binding restrictions on international trade of threatened animals and plants. We are currently working with key NGOs to prepare the draft proposals and identify potential sponsor nations.
  • Shark sanctuary and shark fin trade legislation coordination: Continue to work with partner organizations focused on sanctuary and shark fin trade legislation to negotiate inclusion of language protecting manta and mobula rays and prohibiting trade in their parts.
  • Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs): Partner with NGOs who are already engaged with RFMOs to push for a “no retention” policy for mobulids, along with mandatory bycatch reduction measures. We are also working to develop direct relationships with key decision makers in RFMOs, particularly the IOTC (Indian Ocean Tuna Commission), of which all three of the top mobulid fishing nations are member countries.
  • Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS): Pursue listing of additional mobulid species.

Range State Protections:

  • Pursue legal protection in the form of fishing and trade bans at provincial, national and regional levels, and present alternative sources of income to manta /mobula fishermen. Initial focus will be on key range states including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Peru and India.
  • Leverage the recent CMS listings of Manta birostris to provide impetus to key range states that are CMS signatories – Sri Lanka, India, Peru and Mozambique – to enact immediate protection measures for Manta birostris (in total twenty-four CSM member nations are identified as Manta birostris range states).
  • Produce information packages, including targeted (and localized as needed) outreach materials, for each key range state or international conservation body to support these strategies.

Key Market Consumption and Trade:

  • China trade ban: Lay the groundwork to pursue a prohibition of the trade of manta and mobula rays in China, which accounts for an estimated 99% of the manta and mobula gill raker trade.
  • Hong Kong and Singapore trade bans: Also seek trade bans in Hong Kong and Singapore. Trade bans in these markets could play an important role in supporting a ban in China and also cutting off some primary trade routes.
  • Consumer education campaigns: Using mass media and grassroots outreach, conduct consumer campaigns concurrently to increase acceptance of trade ban legislation and generate public pressure in support of the legislation.