The captain of a Taiwan fishing vessel will face a fine after failing to report the capture and deaths of 2 giant manta rays, which are listed as a vulnerable species by International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Photos of the bloodied carcases of the manta rays laid on the ground at a fish market in Kaohsiung began to circulate on social media January 1, and were widely reported in Taiwan’s media January 3.
Police interviewed the owner of a Facebook page to identify the port and fishing vessel. This morning at 3:30am, police raided a fishing boat. The captain confessed that he had accidentally caught the rays.
Under a law enacted May 2016, giant manta ray catches must be reported to relevant authorities. Failure to do so may result in a fine of between $30,000NTD-$150,000NTD.
Giant manta rays are protected in international waters by the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals. In some countries they are hunted for their gill-rakes, which are used in Chinese medicine.
Although not native to Taiwan, mantas are known to follow the kuroshio current which flows off Taiwan’s east coast.
Taiwan English News is an independent publication with no corporate funding. Subscribe to Taiwan English News to receive the latest news via email. Advertising queries are welcome. Share, like, comment below, and please, buy me a coffee. I really need it.