Data review and potential assessment approaches for Mobulids in the WCPO

Tremblay-Boyer L, Berkenbusch K (2020) Data review and potential assessment approaches for Mobulids in the WCPO. In: WCPFC Scientific Committee 16th Regular Session. WCPFC-SC16-2020/SA-IP-12, Electronic Meeting, p 56

Mobulid rays (manta and devil rays) are pelagic elasmobranchs that are widely distributed throughout the world’s oceans. Throughout their range, manta and devil rays experience substantial fishery-related mortality, both in target fisheries and also as bycatch. In view of the conservative life history of mobulid rays, there have been growing concerns about the impact of fishery mortalities on the sustainability of mobulid populations. At the same time, their extensive distribution and large-scale movement,
combined with a general lack of fishery catch and landings data make population and stock assessments difficult.
Mobulid rays were designated as key shark species for assessment purposes by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in 2016. The Fifteenth Meeting of the Scientific Committee (SC15) requested further research into the stock and
ecological risk status of mobulid rays, with updated information to be provided to the Scientific Committee in 2020. Specifically, the focus of the additional research was a
review of available data to allow the Scientific Committee to determine the feasibility of assessing the status of mobulid rays, and the potential types of assessment approaches
that may be suitable. The present project presents the outcomes of this research byproviding a summary of available data from 1995 to 2018 in the context of potential assessment approaches...