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Manta Ray caught in fishing net drags fishing boat.

Manta Ray caught in fishing net drags fishing boat.

This morning I received this horrible video from Divers for Sharks media containing a huge and beautiful blanket streak, caught in a net and being dragged by the fishing boat and filmed by the fisherman, as if it were an attraction or sport. Mantas and their cousins, móbulas and such, are endangered species and increasingly rare sightings not only on the coast of Brazil but also in the world. They are species of cartilaginous skeleton, which makes them similar at this point to sharks, with both being part of the Elasmobranquios group, along with chimeras as well.

It should be made clear that the fact of intentionally fishing, trading or harassing these animals is an environmental crime. The correct thing in the case of the video above would be the fishermen at the exact moment of the sighting or understanding of what happened, having tried to release the animal from the net or if this was not possible, cut the net, and did not take the time to make videos and publicize the boat being towed by the streak.

We are not aware of the moment of the release of the streak, and I particularly doubt this, because if it were the case the moment would have been recorded in the video too, as the animal was towing and had the intention of releasing it, they would also have recorded the moment heroic of fishermen ….. If the intention was to “fish the beast” and sell it as shark meat, of course they turned off the video.

The fact is really regrettable and our indignation and sadness remain here.

Merely illustrative image, from DiveMag Magazine -
Merely illustrative image, from DiveMag Magazine –