Thursday, 4 August 2011

Essex Sting Rays

I was talking to two fisherman on the beach about when they choose to fish and what they catch. It seems that they are mainly after bass but also catch garfish, whiting, mullet, cod and various rays. I talked about the ray cases 'Mermaid's Purses' that I have round on the beach which I think are the egg cases of Thornback Rays (Raja clavata) and the fishermen explained that a number of very large stingrays have been caught at Frinton-on-Sea. A common stingray (Dasyatis pastinaca) was apparently caught last month from the beach here which weighed 50lb and one last year from the breakwater that broke UK records at 82lbs! These must be huge fish at over 6ft in length and with a dangerous venomous barb. Its easy to forget that such wonderful things live in our seas as I rarely see rays when I'm diving but then I don't spend a lot of time diving on sand ( *sand normally means that I have missed the wreck or reef). Apparently these large rays come into the warm shallow waters of the English Channel to breed.

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