Conservationists condemn Turkish devil-ray landings

archive – Diving News

Conservationists condemn Turkish devil-ray landings

Marine conservation groups have condemned the landing in Turkey of 30 giant devil rays, which they say contravenes Mediterranean agreements to protect the endangered species. They are asking Turkish and regional fisheries authorities how the take was allowed and how such an incident can be prevented from happening again.

According to Turkish news reports, fishermen caught the rays unexpectedly on 11 March and landed them in Izmir, intending to export the meat to Greece.

Under a 2012 measure adopted by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), landing and selling all shark and ray species listed under a special protocol of the Barcelona Convention is banned. Turkey and Greece are both signatories to the convention and to the GFCM.

Devil rays bear just one pup every one to three years, so are particularly susceptible to overfishing. The giant devil ray (Mobula mobular) of the Mediterranean is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

“We are deeply concerned that this blatant ignorance or disregard of binding measures runs counter to GFCM reports that implementation of the 2012 shark and ray measure has progressed well, including in Turkey and Greece,” said Ali Hood, Conservation Director for the Shark Trust.

“Divers are especially fond of devil and closely-related manta rays, and we have fought hard to win them protections under wildlife treaties,” noted Ania Budziak, Associate Director for Project AWARE.

“We are especially eager to see the CITES listings come into force in the coming weeks, as they are key to preventing devil-ray trade from contributing to further population declines, and could help to remove the incentive to land rays that are caught incidentally in fisheries targeting other species.”

The conservation groups, which also include Shark Advocates International, are also looking to a June GFCM Compliance Meeting and a newly released IUCN Global Conservation Strategy for Devil and Manta Rays as key avenues for addressing policy deficiencies.

This includes adoption of best practices for carefully releasing rays from fishing-nets, as used in the Pacific to boost their chances of surviving accidental capture.

Divernet – The Biggest Online Resource for Scuba Divers



Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

manta ray and diver over reef in Komodo

Divers pitch into Komodo manta probe

Manta rays choose to stick around Indonesia’s Komodo National Park in unusually large numbers – and, according to a new diver-led study, this community could

female diver holding pair of Fourth Element Tech fins

Tech fins inspired by humpback whales

Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer. The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades

Last Breath portrait of Woody Harrelson

Woody dives into Last Breath remake

A new version of the British documentary-thriller that captured the imaginations of divers in 2019 is about to be previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Viagra tablet

Viagra and diving: Risk reduction

Awareness is everything in diving, and BOB COLE has advice for divers who, for whatever reason, take PDE5 inhibitors I recently met an old friend

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Reefs of Raja Ampat

Local Guide to Raja Ampat Reefs, #4 Neu Reef While Raja Ampat is home to an incredible number of dive sites, one area, in particular,

Follow Divernet on Social Media