Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Ray of Hope

Rays Gobbled Up in "Endangered Species Soup"

An article in the Bay Foundation blog about how rays around the world are being decimated by fishing, noting, however, that the main Chesapeake Bay ray, the Cownose Ray, is doing quite nicely, thank you, due to the fact that it has no commercial value (don't tell the Chinese)...

In fact, Chesapeake Bay hosts numerous species of rays, most of which only come into the saltiest parts of the Bay down south.  At least one of those, the Barndoor Skate (so named because it's supposed to be as big as a, well you guessed it), is in serious jeopardy of extinction, not because it is sought as a commercial fish, but because so many have been caught as by catch in the commercial groundfish trawling fishery.

As for the Cownose Ray, I enjoy the occasional tussle with one on light tackle, where the main question is whether or not the ray can be turned before reaching the end of the line on your reel.  They show up in good numbers about May.  The females give birth, and the waters swarm with little ones, and then the adults start getting ready to do it again, if you know what I mean.  Courting Cownose Rays kick up quite a stir.

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