Our oceans are now in a state of global crisis, brought about by ocean warming, acidification, pollution, habitat destruction and overfishing – the single biggest threat to ocean life. Today nearly 90% of the world’s marine stocks are fully exploited, overexploited or depleted.

Big-eye Trevally, Rasdhoo Madivaru, Rasdhu Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.JPG

 Fisheries targeting manta and devil rays (mobulids) for their high-prized gills, used in Traditional Asian Medicines, have had a devastating impact on populations. However, mobulid populations are also greatly threatened by bycatch; where they are caught and killed incidentally by fisheries targeting other species.

Manta Ray killed in nets. (Grenada, Caribbean).jpg

Each year manta rays are caught in their thousands, and devil rays in their tens of thousands, as bycatch in high seas fisheries. Learn more about bycatch and other threats to mobulids.

The great news is that as consumers we have the power to make a real difference for manta and devil rays, and other marine species, through the food that we choose to eat!

Below are some tips on how to make more environmentally responsible choices when you are food shopping or eating out.


1.       Reduce the amount of seafood, meat
and dairy in your diet.

Did you know that a third of fish caught each year are used to create feed for livestock, so by adding a few more vegetarian and vegan meals to your week you can help to reduce overfishing.

2.       Choose sustainably sourced seafood.

Stay informed to ensure that you choose responsibly next time you eat seafood. The MCS Good Fish Guide and Seafood Watch both offer App versions of their seafood guide that you can download to your phone for free.

3.       Don’t get tricked by unreliable labelling.

Menus and packaging often use terms such as ‘sustainably fished’ and ‘responsibly sourced’ without having any evidence to back up these claims. Use one of the sustainable seafood guides listed above to double check if you are unsure.

4.       Tell businesses what you want.

If your local restaurant or supermarket does not offer enough sustainable seafood or vegetarian/vegan products, let them know!

5.       Spread the word!

Tell your friends and family about the devastating impact of overfishing on manta and devil rays and encourage them to eat sustainably too.

Blue - Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Mass Feeding Event, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2013a.jpg