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  • 1.
    Abudaya, Mohammed
    et al.
    Natl Res Ctr, Palestine.
    Ulman, Aylin
    Univ British Columbia, Canada.
    Salah, Jehad
    Minist Agr, Palestine.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, UK;Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka.
    Wor, Catarina
    Univ British Columbia, Canada.
    di Sciara, Giuseppe Notarbartolo
    Tethys Res Inst, Italy.
    Speak of the devil ray (Mobula mobular) fishery in Gaza2018In: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, ISSN 0960-3166, E-ISSN 1573-5184, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 229-239Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Little is known about the giant devil ray (Mobula mobular), an endangered species endemic to the Mediterranean. Gaza is the only region where this species is targeted, hence, this fishery was studied to address the knowledge gap on fishery interactions, species behavior, and life-history traits. Devil rays have been frequenting this maritime area for at least the past 50 years for a short window from February to April. Landings are reported from 2005 to 2016, along with disc-width (DW) measurements for recent years. A total of 304 M. mobular (over 90% males) were landed in Gaza from 2014 to 2016, most which were mature and appeared to be mating (over 90% of males had sperm-filled claspers), providing critical insight that this area may serve as a mating ground. Yearly landings are shown here to closely match the allowed fishing distance from shore, which changes regularly, indicating that the rays are normally caught between 6 and 12 n.m. offshore. Width-weight conversion parameters are calculated for the first time for this species: a = 2.68 x 10(-6) and b = 4.39. Fresh protein drives this local fishery, as food security is a major issue. An export market for gill plates was reported intermittently, and is no longer possible due to strict trade restrictions. We highlight the lack of awareness of fishers regarding the IUCN's Red List 'Endangered' status of devil rays, and stress the urgent need for national protection of this species, particularly due to the species' very slow life-history traits and probable usage of this area as a mating ground.

  • 2.
    Camargo, Samia M.
    et al.
    Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil ; Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.
    Coelho, Rui
    Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Portugal ; Universidade Algarve, Portugal.
    Chapman, Demian
    Stony Brook University, USA.
    Howey-Jordan, Lucy
    Microwave Telemetry, Inc., USA.
    Brooks, Edward J.
    Cape Eleuthera Institute, Bahamas.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. The Manta Trust, UK ; Blue Resources, Sri Lanka.
    Mendes, Natalia J.
    Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil.
    Hazin, Fabio H. V.
    Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Brazil.
    Oliveira, Claudio
    Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil.
    Santos, Miguel N.
    Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Portugal.
    Foresti, Fausto
    Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil.
    Mendonca, Fernando F.
    Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.
    Structure and Genetic Variability of the Oceanic Whitetip Shark, Carcharhinus longimanus, Determined Using Mitochondrial DNA2016In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 5, article id e0155623Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Information regarding population structure and genetic connectivity is an important contribution when establishing conservation strategies to manage threatened species. The oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus, is a highly migratory, large-bodied, pelagic shark listed by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List as "vulnerable" throughout its range and "critically endangered" in the western north Atlantic. In 2014, the species was protected globally under Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), limiting and regulating trade. This study used partial sequences of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region to determine the population genetic structure of oceanic whitetip sharks across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. 724 base pairs were obtained from 215 individuals that identifed nine polymorphic sites and defined 12 distinct haplotypes. Total nucleotide diversity (pi) was 0.0013 and haplotype diversity (h) was 0.5953. The Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) evidenced moderate levels of population structure (phi(ST) = 0.1039) with restricted gene flow between the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean, and a strong relationship between the latter region and the Indian Ocean. Even though the oceanic whitetip is a highly migratory animal the results presented here show that their genetic variability is slightly below average of other pelagic sharks. Additionally, this study recommends that at least two populations in the Atlantic Ocean should be considered distinct (eastern and western Atlantic) and conservation efforts should be focused in areas with the greatest genetic diversity by environmental managers.

  • 3.
    Croll, Donald A.
    et al.
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    Dewar, Heidi
    NOAA Fisheries, USA.
    Dulvy, Nicholas K.
    Simon Fraser Univ, Canada.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, UK.
    Francis, Malcolm P.
    Natl Inst Water & Atmospher Res, UK.
    Galvan-Magana, Felipe
    Ctr Interdisciplinario Ciencias Marinas, UK.
    Hall, Martin
    Interamer Trop Tuna Commiss, UK.
    Heinrichs, Shawn
    Blue Sphere Media LLC, UK.
    Marshall, Andrea
    Marine Megafauna Fdn, UK.
    Mccauley, Douglas
    Univ Calif Santa Barbara, USA.
    Newton, Kelly M.
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    Notarbartolo-Di-Sciara, Giuseppe
    Tethys Res Inst, USA.
    O'Malley, Mary
    Manta Trust, UK ; WildAid, USA.
    O'Sullivan, John
    Monterey Bay Aquarium, USA.
    Poortvliet, Marloes
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA ; Univ Groningen, Netherlands.
    Roman, Marlon
    Interamer Trop Tuna Commiss, UK.
    Stevens, Guy
    Manta Trust, UK ; Univ York, UK.
    Tershy, Bernie R.
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    White, William T.
    CSIRO, Australia.
    Vulnerabilities and fisheries impacts: the uncertain future of manta and devil rays2016In: Aquatic conservation, ISSN 1052-7613, E-ISSN 1099-0755, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 562-575Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    1. Manta and devil rays of the subfamily Mobulinae (mobulids) are rarely studied, large, pelagic elasmobranchs, with all eight of well-evaluated species listed on the IUCN Red List as threatened or near threatened. 2. Mobulids have life history characteristics (matrotrophic reproduction, extremely low fecundity, and delayed age of first reproduction) that make them exceptionally susceptible to overexploitation. 3. Targeted and bycatch mortality from fisheries is a globally important and increasing threat, and targeted fisheries are incentivized by the high value of the global trade in mobulid gill plates. 4. Fisheries bycatch of mobulids is substantial in tuna purse seine fisheries. 5. Thirteen fisheries in 12 countries specifically targeting mobulids, and 30 fisheries in 23 countries with mobulid bycatch were identified. 6. Aside from a few recently enacted national restrictions on capture, there is no comprehensive monitoring, assessment or control of mobulid fisheries or bycatch. Recent listing through the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) may benefit mobulids of the genus Manta (manta rays), but none of the mobulids in the genus Mobula (devil rays) are protected. 7. The relative economic costs of catch mitigation are minimal, particularly compared with a broad range of other, more complicated, marine conservation issues. Copyright (C) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • 4.
    di Sciara, Giuseppe Notarbartolo
    et al.
    Tethys Research Institute, Italy.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, UK ; Blue Resources, Sri Lanka.
    Adnet, Sylvain
    University of Montpellier, France.
    Cappetta, Henri
    University of Montpellier, France.
    Jabado, Rima W.
    Gulf Elasmo Project, UAE.
    Devil rays (Chondrichthyes: Mobula) of the Arabian Seas, with a redescription of Mobula kuhlii (Valenciennes in Muller and Henle, 1841)2017In: Aquatic conservation, ISSN 1052-7613, E-ISSN 1099-0755, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 197-218Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Devil rays (genus Mobula) are pelagic elasmobranchs widely distributed throughout tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate waters. Their occurrence and distribution remains poorly documented in the Arabian Seas region. A review is provided of species occurrence in these water bodies along with a synthesis of regional information on their biology and ecology. Based on the available evidence, five Mobula species occur in the region (M. eregoodootenkee, M. japanica, M. kuhlii, M. tarapacana, and M. thurstoni). Of these, three (M. eregoodootenkee, M. tarapacana and M. thurstoni) were found to occur in the Red Sea, and three (M. eregoodootenkee, M. japanica, and M. kuhlii) were found to occur in the Arabian/Persian Gulf. Mobula japanica and M. kuhlii are reported here for the first time in Gulf waters. All five species were found in the Indian Ocean waters between the Gulf of Aden and Pakistan. To address the still uncertain taxonomy of M. kuhlii, a redescription of this species is provided based on a sample of fresh specimen material. Mobula diabolus is a nomen ambiguum, never used to unambiguously designate any newly described species, and its use should be avoided. Considering the life-history traits that make these species particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure, current levels of exploitation in by-catch fisheries are unlikely to be sustainable, despite the fact that the trade in gill plates does not seem to be prevalent in this region. Critical knowledge gaps unfortunately still exist, crippling effective management and conservation actions. Copyright (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • 5.
    Fernando, Daniel
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. The Manta Trust, UK ; Blue Resources, Sri Lanka.
    Perera, Nishan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Blue Resources, Sri Lanka.
    Ebert, David A.
    Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, USA.
    First record of the megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios, (Chondrichthyes : Lamniformes : Megachasmidae) from Sri Lanka, northern Indian Ocean2015In: Marine Biodiversity Records, ISSN 1755-2672, E-ISSN 1755-2672, Vol. 8, p. 1-3, article id e75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios, is a rare and poorly studied shark. In this paper, the first record of the megamouth shark is reported for Sri Lanka. The shark, a juvenile estimated at 180 cm in total length, was caught in a gillnet in close proximity (<92 km) to the Negombo fisheries harbour (7°12′11.67″N 79°49′44.35″E).

  • 6.
    Jabado, Rima W.
    et al.
    Environm Agcy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;Gulf Elasmo Project, United Arab Emirates.
    Kyne, Peter M.
    Charles Darwin Univ, Australia.
    Pollom, Riley A.
    Simon Fraser Univ, Canada.
    Ebert, David A.
    Moss Landing Marine Labs, USA.
    Simpfendorfer, Colin A.
    James Cook Univ, Australia.
    Ralph, Gina M.
    Old Dominion Univ, USA.
    Al Dhaheri, Shaikha S.
    Environm Agcy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
    Akhilesh, K. V.
    ICAR Cent Marine Fisheries Res Inst, India.
    Ali, Khadeeja
    H Whitewaves, Maldives.
    Ali, Mohamud Hassan
    Fed Minist Fisheries & Marine Resources, Somalia.
    Al Mamari, Tariq M. S.
    Minist Agr & Fisheries, Oman.
    Bineesh, K. K.
    Zool Survey India, India.
    El Hassan, Igbal S.
    Univ Bahri, Sudan.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka.
    Grandcourt, Edwin M.
    Environm Agcy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
    Khan, Muhammad Moazzam
    WWF Pakistan, Pakistan.
    Moore, Alec B. M.
    RSK Environm Ltd, UK.
    Owfi, Fereidoon
    Iranian Fisheries Sci Res Inst, Iran.
    Robinson, David P.
    Sharkwatch Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
    Romanov, Evgeny
    Ctr Tech Appui Peche Reunionnaise CAP RUN, France.
    Soares, Ana-Lucia
    Gulf Elasmo Project, United Arab Emirates.
    Spaet, Julia L. Y.
    Univ Cambridge, UK.
    Tesfamichael, Dawit
    Syst Anal Res, Canada.
    Valinassab, Tooraj
    Iranian Fisheries Sci Res Inst, Iran.
    Dulvy, Nicholas K.
    Simon Fraser Univ, Canada.
    Troubled waters: Threats and extinction risk of the sharks, rays and chimaeras of the Arabian Sea and adjacent waters2018In: Fish and Fisheries, ISSN 1467-2960, E-ISSN 1467-2979, Vol. 19, no 6, p. 1043-1062Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The extinction risk of sharks, rays and chimaeras is higher than that for most other vertebrates due to low intrinsic population growth rates of many species and the fishing intensity they face. The Arabian Sea and adjacent waters border some of the most important chondrichthyan fishing and trading nations globally, yet there has been no previous attempt to assess the conservation status of species occurring here. Using IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Categories and Criteria and their guidelines for application at the regional level, we present the first assessment of extinction risk for 153 species of sharks, rays and chimaeras. Results indicate that this region, home to 15% of described chondrichthyans including 30 endemic species, has some of the most threatened chondrichthyan populations in the world. Seventy-eight species (50.9%) were assessed as threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable), and 27 species (17.6%) as Near Threatened. Twenty-nine species (19%) were Data Deficient with insufficient information to assess their status. Chondrichthyan populations have significantly declined due to largely uncontrolled and unregulated fisheries combined with habitat degradation. Further, there is limited political will and national and regional capacities to assess, manage, conserve or rebuild stocks. Outside the few deepsea locations that are lightly exploited, the prognosis for the recovery of most species is poor in the near-absence of management. Concerted national and regional management measures are urgently needed to ensure extinctions are avoided, the sustainability of more productive species is secured, and to avoid the continued thinning of the regional food security portfolio.

  • 7.
    Lawson, Julia M.
    et al.
    Simon Fraser University, Canada.
    Fordham, Sonja V.
    The Ocean Foundation, USA.
    O'Malley, Mary P.
    WildAid, USA ; Manta Trust, UK.
    Davidson, Lindsay N. K.
    Simon Fraser University, Canada.
    Walls, Rachel H. L.
    Simon Fraser University, Canada.
    Heupel, Michelle R.
    Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia.
    Stevens, Guy
    Manta Trust, UK ; University of York, UK.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, UK ; Blue Resources, Sri Lanka.
    Budziak, Ania
    Project AWARE Foundation, USA.
    Simpfendorfer, Colin A.
    James Cook University, Australia.
    Ender, Isabel
    Manta Trust, UK.
    Francis, Malcolm P.
    National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand.
    di Sciara, Giuseppe Notarbartolo
    Tethys Research Institute, Italy.
    Dulvy, Nicholas K.
    Simon Fraser University, Canada.
    Sympathy for the devil: a conservation strategy for devil and manta rays2017In: PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359, E-ISSN 2167-8359, Vol. 5, article id 3027Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background. International trade for luxury products, medicines, and tonics poses a threat to both terrestrial and marine wildlife. The demand for and consumption of gill plates (known as Peng Yu Sai, "Fish Gill of Mobulid Ray") from devil and manta rays (subfamily Mobulinae, collectively referred to as mobulids) poses a significant threat to these marine fishes because of their extremely low productivity. The demand for these gill plates has driven an international trade supplied by largely unmonitored and unregulated catches from target, and incidental fisheries around the world. Scientific research, conservation campaigns, and legal protections for devil rays have lagged behind those for manta rays despite similar threats across all mobufids. Methods. To investigate the difference in attention given to devil rays and manta rays, we examined trends in the scientific literature and updated species distribution maps for all mobufids. Using available information on target and incidental fisheries, and gathering information on fishing and trade regulations (at international, national, and territorial levels), we examined how threats and protective measures overlap with species distribution. We then used a species conservation planning approach to develop the Global Devil and Manta Ray Conservation Strategy, specifying a vision, goals, objectives, and actions to advance the knowledge and protection of both devil and manta rays. Results and Discussion. Our literature review revealed that there had been nearly 2.5-times more "manta"-titled publications, than "mobula" or "devil ray"-titled publications over the Past 4.5 years (January 2012 June 2016). The majority of these recent publications were reports on occurrence of mobulid species. These publications contributed to updated Area of Occupancy and Extent of Occurrence maps which showed expanded distributions for most mobulid species and overlap between the two genera. While several international protections have recently expanded to include all mobulids, there remains a greater number of national, state, and territory-level protections for manta rays compared to devil rays. We hypothesize that there are fewer scientific publications and regulatory protections for devil rays due primarily to perceptions of charisma that favour manta rays. We suggest that the well-established species conservation framework used here offers an objective solution to close this gap. To advance the goals of the conservation strategy we highlight opportunities for parity in protection and suggest solutions to help reduce target and by catch fisheries.

  • 8.
    Ooi, Michelle S. M.
    et al.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Townsend, Kathy A.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Bennett, Michael B.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Richardson, Anthony J.
    Univ Queensland, Australia ; CSIRO Wealth Oceans Flagship, .
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, UK.
    Villa, Cesar A.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Gaus, Caroline
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury in the branchial plate and muscle tissue of mobulid rays2015In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, ISSN 0025-326X, E-ISSN 1879-3363, Vol. 94, no 1-2, p. 251-259Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mobulid rays are targeted in fisheries for their branchial plates, for use in Chinese medicine. Branchial plate and muscle tissue from Mobula japanica were collected from fish markets in Sri Lanka, and muscle tissue biopsies from Manta alfredi in Australia. These were analysed for arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury and compared to maximum levels (MLs) set by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), European Commission (EC) and Codex Alimentarius Commission. The estimated intake for a vulnerable human age group was compared to minimal risk levels set by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The mean inorganic arsenic concentration in M. japanica muscle was equivalent to the FSANZ ML while cadmium exceeded the EC ML The mean concentration of lead in M. alfredi muscle tissue exceeded EC and Codex MLs. There were significant positive linear correlations between branchial plate and muscle tissue concentrations for arsenic, cadmium and lead. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  • 9.
    Poortvliet, Marloes
    et al.
    Univ Groningen, Netherlands ; Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA ; Univ Nordland, Norway.
    Olsen, Jeanine L.
    Univ Groningen, Netherlands.
    Croll, Donald A.
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    Bernardi, Giacomo
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    Newton, Kelly
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    Kollias, Spyros
    Univ Nordland, Norway.
    O'Sullivan, John
    Monterey Bay Aquarium, USA.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, UK.
    Stevens, Guy
    Manta Trust, UK.
    Magana, Felipe Galvan
    Inst Politecn Nacl, Mexico.
    Seret, Bernard
    Museum Natl Hist Nat, France.
    Wintner, Sabine
    KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board, South Africa ; Univ KwaZulu Natal, South Africa .
    Hoarau, Galice
    Univ Nordland, Norway.
    A dated molecular phylogeny of manta and devil rays (Mobulidae) based on mitogenome and nuclear sequences2015In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, E-ISSN 1095-9513, Vol. 83, p. 72-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Manta and devil rays are an iconic group of globally distributed pelagic filter feeders, yet their evolutionary history remains enigmatic. We employed next generation sequencing of mitogenomes for nine of the II recognized species and two outgroups; as well as additional Sanger sequencing of two mitochondria] and two nuclear genes in an extended taxon sampling set. Analysis of the mitogenome coding regions in a Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian framework provided a well-resolved phylogeny. The deepest divergences distinguished three clades with high support, one containing Manta birostris, Manta alfredi, Mobuki tarapacana, Mobula japanica and Mobula mobular; one containing Mobula kuhlii, Mobula eregoodootenkee and Mobula thurstoni; and one containing Mobula munkiana, Mobula hypostoma and Mobula rochebrunei. Mobula remains paraphyletic with the inclusion of Manta, a result that is in agreement with previous studies based on molecular and morphological data. A fossil-calibrated Bayesian random local clock analysis suggests that mobulids diverged from Rhinoptera around 30 Mya. Subsequent divergences are characterized by long internodes followed by short bursts of speciation extending from an initial episode of divergence in the Early and Middle Miocene (19-17 Mya) to a second episode during the Pliocene and Pleistocene (3.6 Mya - recent). Estimates of divergence dates overlap significantly with periods of global warming, during which upwelling intensity - and related high primary productivity in upwelling regions decreased markedly. These periods are hypothesized to have led to fragmentation and isolation of feeding regions leading to possible regional extinctions, as well as the promotion of allopatric speciation. The closely shared evolutionary history of mobulids in combination with ongoing threats from fisheries and climate change effects on upwelling and food supply, reinforces the case for greater protection of this charismatic family of pelagic filter feeders. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 10.
    Stewart, Joshua D.
    et al.
    University of California, USA ; The Manta Trust, UK.
    Beale, Calvin S.
    Misool Manta Project, Indonesia.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. The Manta Trust, UK ; Blue Resources, Sri Lanka.
    Sianipar, Abraham B.
    Conservation International, Indonesia.
    Burton, Ronald S.
    University of California, USA.
    Semmens, Brice X.
    University of California, USA.
    Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio
    University of California, USA.
    Spatial ecology and conservation of Manta birostris in the Indo-Pacific2016In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 200, p. 178-183Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Information on the movements and population connectivity of the oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris) is scarce. The species has been anecdotally classified as a highly migratory species based on the pelagic habitats it often occupies, and migratory behavior exhibited by similar species. As a result, in the absence of ecological data, population declines in oceanic manta have been addressed primarily with international-scale management and conservation efforts. Using a combination of satellite telemetry, stable isotope and genetic analyses we demonstrate that, contrary to previous assumptions, the species appears to exhibit restricted movements and fine-scale population structure. M. birostris tagged at four sites in the Indo-Pacific exhibited no long-range migratory movements and had non-overlapping geographic ranges. Using genetic and isotopic analysis, we demonstrate that the observed movements and population structure persist on multi-year and generational time scales. These data provide the first insights into the long-term movements and population structure of oceanic manta rays, and suggest that bottom-up, local or regional approaches to managing oceanic mantas could prove more effective than existing, international-scale management strategies. This case study highlights the importance of matching the scales at which management and relevant ecological processes occur to facilitate the effective conservation of threatened species.

  • 11.
    Stewart, Joshua D.
    et al.
    Scripps Inst Oceanog, USA;Manta Trust, UK.
    Jaine, Fabrice R. A.
    Sydney Inst Marine Sci, Australia;Macquarie Univ, Australia.
    Armstrong, Amelia J.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Armstrong, Asia O.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Bennett, Michael B.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Burgess, Katherine B.
    Univ Queensland, Australia;Marine Megafauna Fdn, USA.
    Couturier, Lydie I. E.
    Univ Brest, France.
    Croll, Donald A.
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    Cronin, Melissa R.
    Univ Calif Santa Cruz, USA.
    Deakos, Mark H.
    Hawaii Assoc Marine Educ & Res, USA.
    Dudgeon, Christine L.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, Dorchester, UK;Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka.
    Froman, Niv
    Manta Trust, UK.
    Germanov, Elitza S.
    Marine Megafauna Fdn, USA;Murdoch Univ, Australia.
    Hall, Martin A.
    Inter Amer Trop Tuna Commiss, USA.
    Hinojosa-Alvarez, Silvia
    Univ Barcelona, Spain.
    Hosegood, Jane E.
    Manta Trust, UK;Bangor Univ, UK.
    Kashiwagi, Tom
    Marine Megafauna Fdn, USA;Southern Illinois Univ Carbondale, USA.
    Laglbauer, Betty J. L.
    Univ Azores, Portugal.
    Lezama-Ochoa, Nerea
    AZTI Tecnalia Marine Res Div, Spain.
    Marshall, Andrea D.
    Marine Megafauna Fdn, USA.
    McGregor, Frazer
    Murdoch Univ, Australia.
    di Sciara, Giuseppe Notarbartolo
    Tethys Res Inst, Italy.
    Palacios, Marta D.
    Inst Politecn Nacl CICIMAR, Mexico.
    Peel, Lauren R.
    Manta Trust, UK;Univ Western Australia, Australia;Save Our Seas Fdn, Switzerland;Australian Inst Marine Sci, Australia.
    Richardson, Anthony J.
    Univ Queensland, Australia;CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere Ecosci Precinct, Australia.
    Rubin, Robert D.
    Pacific Manta Res Grp, USA.
    Townsend, Kathy A.
    Univ Sunshine Coast, Australia.
    Venables, Stephanie K.
    Marine Megafauna Fdn, USA;Univ Western Australia, Australia.
    Stevens, Guy M. W.
    Manta Trust, UK.
    Research Priorities to Support Effective Manta and Devil Ray Conservation2018In: Frontiers in Marine Science, E-ISSN 2296-7745, Vol. 5, p. 1-27, article id 314Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Manta and devil rays are filter-feeding elasmobranchs that are found circumglobally in tropical and subtropical waters. Although relatively understudied for most of the Twentieth century, public awareness and scientific research on these species has increased dramatically in recent years. Much of this attention has been in response to targeted fisheries, international trade in mobulid products, and a growing concern over the fate of exploited populations. Despite progress in mobulid research, major knowledge gaps still exist, hindering the development of effective management and conservation strategies. We assembled 30 leaders and emerging experts in the fields of mobulid biology, ecology, and conservation to identify pressing knowledge gaps that must be filled to facilitate improved science-based management of these vulnerable species. We highlight focal research topics in the subject areas of taxonomy and diversity, life history, reproduction and nursery areas, population trends, bycatch and fisheries, spatial dynamics and movements, foraging and diving, pollution and contaminants, and sub-lethal impacts. Mobulid rays remain a poorly studied group, and therefore our list of important knowledge gaps is extensive. However, we hope that this identification of high priority knowledge gaps will stimulate and focus future mobulid research.

  • 12.
    Stewart, Joshua D.
    et al.
    Univ Calif San Diego, USA;Manta Trust, UK.
    Rohner, Christoph A.
    Marine Megafauna Fdn, Mozambique.
    Araujo, Gonzalo
    Large Marine Vertebrates Res Inst Philippines, Philippines.
    Avila, Jose
    Planeta Oceano, Peru.
    Fernando, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Manta Trust, UK;Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka.
    Forsberg, Kerstin
    Planeta Oceano, Peru.
    Ponzo, Alessandro
    Large Marine Vertebrates Res Inst Philippines, Philippines.
    Rambahiniarison, Joshua M.
    Large Marine Vertebrates Res Inst Philippines, Philippines.
    Kurle, Carolyn M.
    Univ Calif San Diego, USA.
    Semmens, Brice X.
    Univ Calif San Diego, USA.
    Trophic overlap in mobulid rays: insights from stable isotope analysis2017In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 580, p. 131-151Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mobulid rays, a group of closely related filter-feeders, are threatened globally by bycatch and targeted fisheries. Their habitat use and feeding ecology are not well studied, and most efforts have focused on temporally limited stomach content analysis or inferences from tagging data. Previous studies demonstrate a variety of different diving behaviors across species, which researchers have interpreted as evidence of disparate foraging strategies. However, few studies have examined feeding habitats and diets of multiple mobulid species from a single location, and it is unclear if the proposed differences in diving and inferred foraging behavior are examples of variability between species or regional adaptations to food availability. Here, we use stable isotope data from mobulids landed in fisheries to examine the feeding ecology of 5 species at 3 sites in the Indo-Pacific. We use Bayesian mixing models and analyses of isotopic niche areas to demonstrate dietary overlap between sympatric mobulid species at all of our study sites. We show the degree of overlap may be inversely related to productivity, which is contrary to prevailing theories of niche overlap. We use isotope data from 2 tissues to examine diet stability of Manta birostris and Mobula tarapacana in the Philippines. Finally, we observe a significant but weak relationship between body size and isotope values across species. Our findings highlight challenges to bycatch mitigation measures for mobulid species and may explain the multi-species mobulid bycatch that occurs in a variety of fisheries around the world.

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