A photo of a Mobula ray being butchered and sold at Tagbilaran market in Bohol emerged on Facebook on Monday, December 14.
The photo posted by the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines page sparked an outrage among netizens. The photo’s caption indicates that Manta Birostris is the only species of ray protected in the Philippines. This means that it’s completely legal to fish and sell Mobula rays (Mobula Mobular) in the country.
Still, netizens are hoping that the Bohol local government will issue an ordinance concerning the illegal fishing of rays and sharks to protect these marine creatures.
According to the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, Mobula rays are considered a delicacy and are eaten fresh or dried. Its gills, when dried, is believed to contain medicinal properties that can cure a wide array of diseases including cancer. Moreover, Mobula rays provide a cheap alternative for shark cartilage used as a nutritional supplement.