The Giant Devilray, Mobula mobular, is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Speciesä. This huge, plankton-feeding manta-like ray occurs in the Mediterranean and possibly also in the eastern Atlantic along the coast of northwest Africa, the Azores and the Canary Islands.
Although the Giant Devilray is not targeted, it is accidentally captured at threatening levels in other fisheries. Owing to high levels of by-catch and a very low reproductive capacity, this species is almost certainly declining. A decline in habitat quality, particularly in the Mediterranean, is also possibly impacting some populations.
The banning of driftnets and of trawling below 1,000 metres throughout the Mediterranean Sea in 2005 is likely to have reduced one of the most severe threats to the Giant Devilray. One of the major priorities now is to raise conservation awareness amongst fisherman in order maximise the number of Giant Devilrays that are disentangled and released unharmed after accidental capture.