shutterstock/the dodo, cowheadrays, Battle of the Rays, mrine conservation, petitionWhen diving I always get a bit of a thrill when I encounter rays, something about the way they seem to fly effortlessly thru the sea. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are the largest and most magnificent are the smaller rays they are all great to have as diving companions. So I was angered when a recent article caught my attention and I think that you will be also.

Blue Ocean recently posted a petition on Saving the Dolphins of Japan from slaughter in Taiji Bay. This mass killing was captured in the award winning film “The Cove.” Well, it seems like we have a similar issue in our own backyard.


Killing Rays! Just for Fun!!

Each year cownose rays migrate from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay where they give birth, however as they swim through the coastal waters off Maryland they are ambushed with arrows and clubs.

The Battle of the Rays

“The Battle of the Rays” is called a sporting event, although there is nothing sporting about it. The rays are shot from boats and those not immediately killed are clubbed to death. Sporting, I don’t think so! And because the rays are pregnant and on their way to give birth this farce is doubly tragic.

Daily Mail UK, Maryland ray killing, Battle of the Rays, cowhead rays, marine conservationThe “Battle” was promoted originally because it was thought that the rays were the cause for a dwindling oyster crop. That theory has been debunked but the “sporting event” continues because some people think it’s fun. In 2015 the state of Maryland tried to reverse things by releasing a video of the ray killing. (photo – Daily Mail UK)


“They beat them with a baseball bat”

“The video we captured that year, and in 2016, featured animal cruelty so violent and vicious that it brought international condemnation down upon these contests and spurred more than 146,000 people to sign a petition against them,” Stuart Chaifetz, an investigator for SHARK, told The Dodo. (see the original story)

“They shoot them, they pull them up, they beat them with a baseball bat, they throw them in a barrel and [the rays] suffocate, and then they dump them back in the water. It’s just very inhumane. I don’t think we should treat any live species that way,” state Maryland Sen. Ron Young. Young was so incensed that he drafted bill 268 to make this type of contest illegal.

save the rays, petition, battle of the raysNow you can help by writing to the Maryland Office of Tourism and tell them what you think.

Or you can join with me and  over 200,000 others and sign a petition to save the rays. This is outrageous behavior and has no place in today’s ocean. You can also go to Save the Rays website.


Update: Legislation has been introduced in the Maryland Legislature to ban the “Battle” but you still need to join the petition and pile on the pressure, this is not the time to sit back.


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Vaquita Nears Extinction, Can They be Saved?

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Make February 3, National Shark Day

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