|Underside of Manta Ray|
I recently read an article on Nat Geo magazine, it's a short article accompanied by a big panorama photo of dead rays in what it seems to be a supermarket in a Middle African or Southern Asian nation, it's impossible to identify but the photo is quite powerful enough. I opted not to put such a crude photo instead I found this one on Wikipedia which I think is fantastic.
Now there is a new trend mixed with an old tradition of so called millenial medecine which is putting these creatures more on the verge of extinction beside the already major problems they present on the ocean because of the fishing vessels. China's demand for dried grill rakers as purported medicine for chicken pox and other ailments means a big manta can fetch several hundred of dollars versus the US$20 up to US$40 for their meat.
According to National Geographic, last year around 100.000 of the rays landed in the global fish markets, placing some concerns around the preservation communities. "As quickly as rays started appearing in markets, we fear they could disappear from the sea as just quickly", says Shawn Heinrichs, lead author of the report released by conservation groups WildAid and Shark Savers.
One of the most well known charities that is trying an effort to keep this deviled giants of the oceans afloat is the Manta Trust located in the UK, where they accept donations as well volunteers who want to help in the fight.