Novel Genetic Tools for the Conservation and management of Vulnerable Manta and Mobula Rays

  • Ogden, Rob (Principal Investigator)
  • Hosegood, Jane (Student)
  • Creer, Simon (Co-investigator)
  • de Bruyne, Mark (Co-investigator)
  • Carvalho, Gary (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Mobulids are little-studied, with high economic value from eco-tourism. Fisheries supplying the gill plate trade threaten the group, resulting in Manta and Mobula rays being recently listed on CITES. Morphological similarities and taxonomic ambiguities impede species identification of traded parts; hindering enforcement of regulations.

Lacking understanding of population genetic structure, and evolutionary history prevents the implementation of effective management strategies.

Tis project set out to evaluate the population genetic structure, demographic history and taxonomy of mobulids with genetic markers, investigate factors driving the recent speciation within Manta at the genomic level, and apply this data to conservation through traceability tools and recommendations.

Layman's description

The project sets out to advance our understanding of population structure, demographic history, speciation and adaptation in Manta rays in order to effectively inform conservation policy, and to provide a genetic means of identification of all large mobulid rays to aid in law enforcement.
Effective start/end date1/10/1431/05/18