The UK Daily Mail has published an article about the fishing of manta and mobula rays. The paper states that Chinese practitioners believe the consumption of the ray’s gills helps reduce toxins in the blood by purifying and cooling it, reducing body temperature and aiding blood circulation, and that they boost the body’s immune system. One kilogram of gill rakers from a mature Indonesian manta sells for up to $200 in the dried seafood markets of China.
The rays are pulled from the ocean, either with fine gill nets or spears, and slaughtered to meet this growing demand and it is reported that in some fishing villages in Indonesia alone, fishermen are catching more than 2,000 mantas each year. Due to slow maturation and reproductive cycles, this level of harvesting is likely to be unsustainable, the paper reports.