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By Daily Mail Reporter
8th March 2011

They are known as the ocean’s gentle giants, but an alarming rise in manta and mobula ray hunting could threaten the very existence of the species.

From India to Ecuador, manta and mobula fishing has become big business for fisheries who are selling their gills to be used in soups and traditional Chinese medicine.

Conservationists have warned that demand could soon rival that of the controversial shark fin trade.

The rays are pulled from the ocean, either with fine gill nets or spears, and slaughtered to meet growing demand, mainly from the Chinese market.

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