The Mobula mobular, or more commonly known as the Giant Devil Ray, is the largest species of the genus Mobula. It has a very low reproductive capacity, giving birth to only a single large pup after carrying it for 24 months.
The Giant Devil Ray is found throughout the Mediterranean Sea, and possibly in the nearby northeast Atlantic.
However, has been found to be absent in the Black Sea. It is believed that the population has been decreasing over the years and was entered onto the endangered list in 2006.
Untamed Americas—Gigantic school of rays:
Palestinian fishermen are the only known people who actively fish for the rays, and only fish during late winter, but it is likely to be unsustainable. The rays are also killed incidentally in several fisheries by people using pelagic driftnets, which are banned in the Mediterranean Sea by a number of European, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, and International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna regulations.
This species is usually discarded when caught as bycatch, but occasionally landed and marketed (e.g., in the southern Adriatic coast of Apulia). In March 2013, the media provided evidence of massive catches of Giant Devil Rays off the Gaza Strip (Levantine Sea), the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species wrote on its website.
In a single episode, over 500 Giant Devil Rays, including some sub-adults, were captured with a local type of purse seine, called “shinshula,” landed and butchered on the beach for local human consumption. Depending on the size of the total population and the frequency of such events, this pattern of exploitation is likely unsustainable, the IUCN Red List added.
Pelicans and flying rays:
The Giant Devil Ray is included in Annex II “List of endangered or threatened species” to the Protocol concerning Special Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean of the Barcelona Convention, which came into force in 2001, and in Annex II “Strictly protected fauna species” to the Bern Convention.
In 2012, parties to the Barcelona Convention agreed that this species cannot be retained on board, transshipped, landed, transferred, stored, sold, displayed, or offered for sale, and must be released unharmed and alive, to the extent possible, pursuant to Recommendation.
Stingrays are not usually aggressive, but have a poison barb that can be very painful if you step on one, and will require medical attention. I know this as it happened to my husband.