A fisherman from Mangalore was in for a surprise when he went for deep sea fishing off the Malpe coast on Wednesday. Fisherman Subhash Sailan caught massive manta rays weighing 750 kg.
According to The Newsminute, Sailan got on his boat Nagasiddhi on Tuesday after he returned to the shore, a crane had to be brought in to put them in a pick up truck. The giant catch also caught the attention of many locals who were amused to witness the giant fishes. Many locals even made videos and took pictures of the unusual sight which has now gone viral on the internet.
Speaking to The News Minute, former President of the Fishermen’s Association in coastal Karnataka Yathish Baikampady said that the big catch is not too common nor is it too rare. The size may vary but they are caught fairly regularly. Since the incident happened in Malpe and not in a remote area where it would not be reported, a large crowd in Malpe used social media, after which it has gone viral. It is expected that the fish will be exported and will fetch a handsome price and it is also the first such large haul in the port of Malpe after deep sea fishing has resumed since the lockdown restrictions were lifted.
According to the international advocacy organization for ocean conservation, Oceana the giant manta ray species have been declared vulnerable to extinction. Giant manta rays face the most significant threat from commercial fishing, both targeted and caught as bycatch.
Despite conservation measures in many places, demand for manta has increased dramatically in Asian markets.
However, according to Oceana their interest in scuba divers and other tourism operations makes them more valuable alive than fishers. This touristic value may help the giant manta get more protection, but their value as meat and for traditional medicinal purposes continue to pose a risk to their existence.