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Bloodied Manta Rays Wash Up on Gaza Beach

Mysterious arrival marks the first sighting of the large fish in six years

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Palestinian fishermen collect several Manta Ray fish that were washed up on the beach in Gaza City on February 27, 2013. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

Dozens of manta rays washed up on the shores of Gaza City today, according to the Daily Mail—the first sighting of the fish in that area in six years.

It’s unclear what killed and bloodied such a large number of the giant fish, though according to Wikipedia (bear with me), manta rays do face a fair amount of danger in the sea:

Manta rays are subject to a number of other anthropogenic threats. Because mantas must swim constantly in order to flush oxygen-rich water over their gills, they are vulnerable to entanglement and subsequent suffocation. Mantas cannot swim backwards and, because of their protruding cephalic fins, they are prone to being caught in trailing fishing lines, nets and even loose mooring lines. When caught, mantas will often attempt to free themselves by somersaulting, tangling themselves further. It is possible for a loose, trailing line to wrap round and cut its way into a fleshy appendage, resulting in an irreversible injury such as the loss of a cephalic fin or damage to a pectoral fin, or even death if the wound is severe enough.

None of those possibilities, however, seems to explain what happened to these fish, shown being transported by fisherman to the marketplace.


Photo Credit: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images


Photo Credit: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

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Cool_Romeo says:

“It’s unclear what killed and bloodied such a large number of the giant fish”

Really? It’s obviously a Zionist plot. Or perhaps it was those Zionist sharks again.

They were detained by Israeli aquatic authorities and couldn’t reach Michael Moore on their cell phones in time.

Another case of the incompetence of the Western press-they were caught by Gaza fishermen, they didn’t washup. By the way they are an endangered species.

Due
to a relatively slow reproductive cycle, with mature females only
giving birth to small litters every two years, replenishing the Manta
Ray’s numbers is a slow process.

BTW, their treif (as are the lobster rolls in the Quizno’s ad at the upper right of this page).

From the article Ari Shavit links:

“The Giant Devil Ray [NOT manta rays], indigenous to the Mediterranean Sea, is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The reason Gaza fishermen said that the fish had not been seen in these numbers in several years may have been a result of overfishing in the Mediterranean and a subsequent ban on fishing that would further endanger the species.

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean — to which Israel is a party, but the Palestinian Authority is not — issued a ban on trawling below 1,000 meters and driftnet fishing, likely significantly reducing bycatch fishing of devil rays.

In November, soon after Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel extended the Gaza fishing zone from three to six kilometers off-shore, a further possible factor in the “reappearance” of the devil rays in Gaza.”

These aren’t manta rays, but the giant devil ray (the species in question) ALSO has a very low reproductive capacity. This is true of both rays and sharks, which are members of the same class.

I’m sure the Palestinian fishermen were only acting in self-defense.

Although this might have been like that time that Mesquite grilled Tuna just jumped out of the water and onto my plate.

Although this might have been like that time that Mesquite grilled Tuna just jumped out of the water and onto my plate.

AriShavit says:

I’m confused about the reason you posted this … just clarification for others?

2000

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Bloodied Manta Rays Wash Up on Gaza Beach

Mysterious arrival marks the first sighting of the large fish in six years

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