Mar 17, 2016

Devil in the details: growth, productivity, and extinction risk of a data-sparse devil ray

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Sebastián A. PardoNicholas K. Dulvy


Devil rays ( Mobula spp.) face rapidly intensifying fishing pressure to meet the ongoing international trade and demand for their gill plates. This has been exacerbated by trade regulation of manta ray gill plates following their 2014 CITES listing. Furthermore, the paucity of information on growth, mortality, and fishing effort for devil rays make quantifying population growth rates and extinction risk challenging. Here, we use a published size-at-age dataset for a large-bodied devil ray species, the Spinetail Devil Ray ( Mobula japanica ), to estimate somatic growth rates, age at maturity, maximum age and natural and fishing mortality. From these estimates, we go on to calculate a plausible distribution of the maximum intrinsic population growth rate ( r max) and place the productivity of this large devil ray in context by comparing it to 95 other chondrichthyan species. We find evidence that larger devil rays have low somatic growth rate, low annual reproductive output, and low maximum population growth rates, suggesting they have low productivity. Devil ray maximum intrinsic population growth rate r max is very similar to that of manta rays, indicating devil rays can potentially be driven to local extinction at low levels o...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Regulation of Biological Process
Devil's Foot/Jambul
Gill Structure
Mobula hypostoma
Mobula japonica
Silo (Dataset)

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