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Last week, the federal government announced new protections for the manta ray after a decline in population of the giant rays, which an investigation found may be driven by demands from the Chinese market. It is said local Chinese traders are spruiking the manta ray’s gill rakers as a remedy to treat a range of health conditions from chicken pox to cancer. The giant ray will now be listed as a migratory species, making it an offence to take, trade, keep or move the species from Commonwealth waters.
Gill rakers are not historically part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), do not appear in TCM texts, and is certainly not part of recent, contemporary practice in Australia.
The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) strongly opposes the use of endangered species and illegally acquired wildlife product and believe the demand for manta ray is not coming from the Australian profession.
Did you know Chinese medicine students can join AACMA as a Student Member for free? Find out more about joining AACMA.