Time is running out to save rays

Fish such as skates, manta and devil rays, and sawfish are the forgotten ‘elasmobranchs’.

A view from below as two giant oceanic manta rays (Manta birostris) soar overhead. Blue Magjic cleaning station, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Rays are more threatened and less protected than their shark relatives, according to marine conservation organisations.

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Launching a new 10-year strategy to improve the management of cartilaginous fish – otherwise known as sharks and rays or elasmobranchs – the coalition of groups says time is running out for many species.

In particular, the strategy says that countries that have populations of all five endangered sawfish species and all manta and devil rays should properly protect them, as they are obliged to under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS).

According to the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group, “a major shift in emphasis” is required to prevent the extinction of 70 of the most endangered species, mainly in the sawfish, guitarfish and ray families.

Read the 10-year strategy

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