PERREAULT Magazine OCT | NOV 2015 - Page 72

What is WildAid doing?

Research conducted by WildAid, our partners, The Manta Trust and others, has uncovered new evidence of a rapidly escalating threat to manta ray species from increased demand for their gill plates, primarily in Guangzhou, China. Fishermen in key range states (e.g. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Peru, etc.) report sharp declines in catches despite increased fishing effort. Further indication of manta population declines is evidenced by traders reporting increased difficulty in sourcing manta gill plates and prices more than doubling over the previous two years as supply has plummeted.

In 2014, we launched a demand reduction campaign in Guangzhou, China, where an estimated 99% of the market and consumption for manta and mobula gill plates are based.

Our goals are to:

.Use existing methodology, networks, and contacts from our China shark fin campaign to raise awareness in China of the impacts of manta gill plate consumption and urgency of manta ray conservation, and measurably reduce demand for gill plates in China, ultimately working towards ending the gill plate trade in Guangzhou.

.Pursue legal protection for manta and mobula rays in key range countries.

.Support implementation of manta and mobula protections through community outreach and enforcement strategies.

In 2014-2015, we will continue to pursue protection campaigns in Peru, Sri Lanka, and other countries where manta rays are targeted by fisheries. We will conduct education and outreach (including localized media campaigns) and enforcement activities to build local support for manta and mobula protection and enforce manta protection laws and conservation measures globally. We are initially focusing on Indonesia where plans include: outreach, media and events to support manta regulation, including an Indonesia-wide manta research and community engagement project to promote further conservation of manta rays.

The Impact Timeline: Read here

How can you help?

First and foremost, do not buy any products made from manta and mobula gills. Tell your friends and relatives that they may be contributing to the irreversible decline of manta and mobula populations by consuming their gills.

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