Eastern Pacific Round Rays

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2021/01/01

Tipo: Capítulo de libro

Lugar(es) de estudio: Océano Pacífico
Resumen: "Due to the ongoing and increasing demand for their products, chondrichthyan populations are often subject to intense exploitation by many small-scale and industrial fisheries worldwide. This situation generates an urgent need for conservation and management of many chondrichthyan species. This includes the Eastern Pacific round rays of the family Urotrygonidae, which are small, inconspicuous, and commonly overlooked throughout most of the range. The present article provides an overview of the endemic round rays of the Eastern Pacific (United States to Chile) and summarizes the existing information of several aspects of this group, including their diversity, geographic range and habitat, life history traits, main threats, and conservation status. Of 17 round ray species globally, 14 are found in the Eastern Pacific. Conservation concern has been raised for three threatened and six Near Threatened species. Round rays are commonly caught as bycatch, retained or discarded, by a diversity of both small-scale and industrial fisheries that operate throughout their range which either lack management or effective enforcement of regulations. This highlights the need to closely monitor the populations of these species and conduct research to develop conservation and management strategies. As with many other elasmobranchs, there is a significant lack of biological, ecological, and fishery-related data (e.g., landings, catch rates) for most round ray species. This situation hampers the development of conservation plans for the threatened species and underlines the need to create adequate fishery monitoring and management programs. The Critically Endangered reticulate round ray, a narrow range endemic of the Gulf of Panama, is an urgent priority for conservation planning with no reports of its persistence since 1990. Improving fishery management will be critical to prevent further decline and extinction of the Eastern Pacific round ray populations."

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