On Tuesday afternoon, two pelagic rays were saved thanks to the quick and fortuitous actions of marine scientist Gádor Muntaner and professional paraglider César Canudas, both avid lovers of the Mallorcan sea. The pair had been out at sea all day when they spotted the distressed rays entangled in a fishing line as they were entering Cala Deya with their boat.

The rescue took only minutes. The rays were found together, exhausted and on the verge of dying. "It was fortunate we saw them," Muntaner explained. "We were returning after a day on the boat, the water was crystal clear, and I suddenly noticed some strange black spots underwater." Upon closer inspection, they saw two pelagic rays ensnared by longline threads and hooks.

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Initially, it was difficult to tell if the rays were alive due to their minimal movement. However, upon attempting to catch them, the rescuers noticed the rays were breathing. Using a rope with a lead, they hooked the fishing line and pulled the rays onto the boat. They managed to free one ray by extracting a large hook from its mouth. The second ray, unfortunately, had swallowed its hook, making it impossible to remove. They decided to cut the line as close to its mouth as possible to give it a chance at survival. Muntaner remarked, "One will survive for sure, the other we don't know, hopefully."

The highlight of the rescue was seeing the two rays swim away, free and unattached, towards the bottom of the sea. Gádor Muntaner, who has over 120,000 Instagram followers for her marine conservation efforts, shared the rescue story and expressed her emotional experience: "It was intense and special. A mixture of emotions. It is a privilege to have been able to release two pelagic rays."

Gádor Muntaner, a National Geographic ambassador and shark expert, used this opportunity to emphasise the importance of using selective fishing gear. She highlighted that non-selective gear, such as longlines, often unintentionally catch non-target species, which can lead to unnecessary deaths. Muntaner pointed out that many animals, including these rays and sharks, often get caught and die in longlines. "These rays are not eaten and often fall into the longlines, which is also the case with sharks," she said. She concluded with a call to action: "Let's take care of our oceans."