Erick Cruz Guerrero, 22, is the young fisherman who, a week ago, caught a giant manta ray whose images became quite popular among users of social networks.
Cruz, who works at an oil company, never imaged this fact was going to cause such a stir.
He explains that since it was his day off he decided to get on board with his father Edgardo Cruz Zapata, 45, and another fisherman known as “Nayo” to conduct fishing operations.
Yaritza-Yanina, a homemade wooden boat, set sail from a small cove named La Cruz. As he realized they were not catching fish, Erick told his father to set off toward an oil platform located in front of Pizarro Port, where they cast the net into the sea and dropped anchor to take a nap.
At 3 a.m., a tremendous jolt was felt, and they realized it was a manta ray that was accidentally tangled up in the net. It was when they noticed it could not get free from the net that they decided to tie it up to the boat.
They reached the coast after seven hours and sold their catch after calculating its weight (about a ton).
According to Edgardo Cruz, they were paid S/.0.50 (about US$0.15) per kilogram. Manta ray meat is highly demanded in southern Tumbes, which explains why fishermen catch three to four of them.
Erick Cruz regrets the reaction of people on social media. He said he has not committed any crime, since they were not going to catch manta rays but other type of fish.