The population of ornate eagle ray (scientific name: Aetomylaeus vespertilio) is scattered localities across the Indo-Pacific Oceans from southern Mozambique to Indonesia, the South China Sea, Taiwan, and Northern Australia. It is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
The population of ornate eagle ray is threatened by the high and increasing levels of fishing pressure in inshore regions within its range. It is also very vulnerable to capture by a variety of fishing methods such as bottom trawls, gillnets, seines and fish traps, particularly in regions such as India, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia. Moreover, the ornate eagle has a slow reproductive turnover which makes it particularly susceptible to the effects of over-fishing and slow to recover.
However, no actions are in place to conserve the ornate ray population. Only market surveys are currently being conducted for elasmobranchs including the ornate eagle ray in Indonesia.
To view a video on Ornate eagle ray swimming around “Barracuda Bommie”, one of Quicksilver’s remote dive sites on the Agincourt reefs, please refer to this link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUOoFXRryQ4