July 18, 2013
Locals Find Hundreds Of Dead Stingrays On Mexican Beach
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Hundreds of stingrays have been found dead on the Chachalacas beach in the town of Ursulo Galvan in Mexico.
Over 250 dead stingrays litter the beach of the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz. According to an Associated Press report, food vendor Adriana Loredo says she witnessed fishermen dumping the rays from their nets at the beach.
Ursulo Galvan Mayor Martin Verdejo said fishermen dumped the carcasses after they were unable to get a good price for them. Chopped stingray wings are commonly served as snacks in Veracruz restaurants.
According to BBC, Chachalacas fisherman Jaime Vazquez told local media that in his three-decades of working he has never seen any of his colleagues dump dead fish on the beach. He said that unwanted fish are usually returned to the sea while still alive.
Some are claiming that the dead stingrays were washed ashore by the waves at sunrise. Several beachgoers said many of the fins were cut off the animals, reports Mail Online.
Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the situation to try and determine who or what may be the cause.
The stingrays remain on the beach and pose a threat to tourists because, although they are dead, their stingers remain potent. Steve Irwin, who was famously known as the "Crocodile Hunter," died from a stingray when the animal stuck its serrated barb into the Australian's chest. The 44-year-old naturalist icon was filming a new documentary off Australia's northeastern coast in the Great Barrier Reef when he was attacked by a bull stingray weighing around 220 pounds.
It is not uncommon for ocean creatures to mysteriously wash ashore in great numbers. Last December several hundred Humboldt squid washed ashore along the Santa Cruz County shoreline in California. Scientists determined that the squid were predominately juveniles, because adult Humboldt can grow up to six feet long and 100 pounds.
One reason for the squid washing ashore late last year in such great numbers could be because of the massive amount of Humboldts invading coastal California. Reports found that some fishermen were pulling in over 200 squid in an hour. Some scientists attribute the mass invasions and strandings to El Nino weather patterns, which could have attracted them to the cooler environments of Northern and Central California's coast.