There are not only cetaceans in the Pelagos Sanctuary: rare case of observation of two groups of Mobula mobular along the coast of San Remo and Ventimiglia.

On 15th and 16th July 2014, during the research and monitoring conducted by CSR - Cetacean Sanctuary Research-Institute of Tethys, two groups of Mobula mobular were identified (with respectively 10 and 15 individuals), more known in the Mediterranean Sea as the "devil of the seas."

 

The only observation ever recorded before, except for individuals alone and isolated, occurred along the coast of San Remo and Ventimiglia, at a distance from the coast between 17 and 22 miles: all individuals observed had a "scale" (disc diameter) of about 2 meters, and showed an unusual social behavior, making many spectacular jumps out of the water.

The reasons for this behavior are not explained yet, and the causes can be many: courtship behavior, play, watching out of the water, chase small fish near the surface, releasing parasites and childbirth.

These animals are the only representative of the Mobulidi family in the Mediterranean Sea. Long cephalic fins characterize them; they can reach 5 meters wide, although most adults are between 3.5 and 4 meters.

This is a "flat shark" that feeds mainly on zooplankton in the Mediterranean Sea, he prefers the same crustaceans (Eufasiacee) as fin whales. It is encountered mainly in the pelagic zone, generally isolated.

Because of its rarity, its endemicity (it is observed only in the Mediterranean Sea and possibly in the waters of the North-East Atlantic) and its low reproductive rate (one baby at a time, with a period gestation of about 24 months), Mobula mobular is a critically endangered species threaten by by-catch in pelagic driftnets, which are still used illegally in the Mediterranean Sea.

The species is classified as "endangered" in the IUCN Red List, or in high risk of extinction in the wild.