Celebrating the big beautiful rays at Flinders Pier!
This week we had the pleasure of watching a huge Smooth ray gliding around in the seagrass at Flinders Pier. For for a size perspective, the snorkeler is 6 foot tall! There is a vital need for education regarding the treatment of rays along our shorelines. For example, rays do not attack humans, and the reason they visit piers and may swim close to people is that they are searching for food. Their tail barb is for defence only, like many other marine animals that have false eye-spots, barbs and thorns on their tails. Never swim behind a ray, as you may scare it off, or cause it to try to defend itself. Hot water is the first aid for pain relief if you are barbed by a stingray. Stingray injuries are extremely rare considering how many people visit the beaches every day. Injuries are usually caused by people running/trudging through the water and stepping on a barb. Unfortunately, many rays at the local piers have had their tails cut off by fishers trying to retrieve their hook/s. Please help us spread the message that if a hook can not be retrieved quickly and with minimal damage, it is much kinder to cut the line as close to the impact site as possible and return the ray to the water immediately. If you see a ray swimming near your fishing line please pull your it out of the water until the ray passes.
New regulations in 2017 resulted in a significant increase in protective measures for rays, skates and guitarfish as follows:
- Prohibit the take or possession of stingrays, skates or guitarfish greater than 1.5 metres in width;
- Reduce the combined daily bag limit for rays, skates and guitarfish from 5 to 1, which are smaller than 1.5 metres in width;
- Prohibit the take of these species within 400m of any pier, jetty, wharf or breakwater;
- Require these species to be landed whole so they can be measured by Fisheries Officers.
If you would like to book your school in for an education program on stingrays, and/or would like more details about how you can help protect our rays, skates and guitarfish please contact us at Dolphin Research Institute on https://www.dolphinresearch.org.au/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org