Seven Years With Mantas: A Journey of Discovery

3/8/2017; 57 minutes

Oceanic Manta Rays (Manta birostris) are increasingly caught in targeted fisheries for their gill rakers, fueled by demand as a pseudo-remedy in traditional Chinese medicine. Given extremely low reproductive rates, even small artesanal fisheries and by-catch will have significant impacts on manta populations, while large-scale targeted fisheries may lead to population decline and perhaps local extinction. Understanding the basic ecology and population dynamics of the species is a prerequisite to developing effective conservation and management strategies for the species. Semmens Lab PhD student Josh Stewart is investigating the population structure and spatial ecology of oceanic manta rays in the Indo-Pacific using a diversity of techniques to identify space use, migratory corridors, regional sub-populations and connectivity between oceanic manta hotspots and aggregations. Recorded on 01/09/2017. (#31731)

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