If August was bad November was worse! 4 mantas killed by gill netsEventually after trying for a long time, the divers needed to go as the clients were getting sick on the boat and complaining. The mantas were too tangled to do anything underwater without cutting the nets, so the fishermen decided to pull the nets out of the water. Yara and Sarah stayed on the beach to try convince them to release the mantas, if they were still alive. The fishermen agreed to release the mantas in exchange of 200met per manta. Unfortunately the mantas had stayed in the nets for too long and they were too tangled, hurt and tired and despite showing a bit of movement they were almost dead. About 8 people together managed to turn one of the manta that were still breathing and put her back to the sea, but she was too heavy, tired and hurt, her wings were cut, her skin was red and she could barely move. There was not much anyone could do at this stage, the mantas and devil rays stayed tangled for too long struggling to free themselves - probably the whole night - and were too damaged to survive. From those pulled out to the beach only a recently-born devil ray (about 13cm) was released alive. It was a very sad, frustrating and heart-breaking day for everyone trying to save these animals that suffered for probably over 10 hours.
Some of the fishermen collaborated to try save the mantas while others joked around, jumping on top of one of the dead manta saying “meat, meat”. Some 3 or 4 tourists were shocked by this behaviour and took pictures. After we could do no more, Yara explained the manta's spot-pattern, low reproduction rate, sex and so the fishermene. She asked one of the fishermen who was butchering a manta to turn it belly-up to identify it from it's spot-pattern. He said that it was too heavy that he needed help so Yara and 5 other fishermen turned it over. Then they started to look at the spot patterns and were amazed that each manta had different spots. Some of them were very inquisitive about it and consequently a meeting for next Sunday has been arranged to explain more about the mantas and, perhaps, agree on an emergency plan for the next time that this happens. The meeting is booked for Sunday afternoon, we hope that it will happen and that something positive will come from this very tragic day.