A few weeks ago more than 70 giant stingrays were found dead. The causes may be various. It’s not yet clear why that has happened but according to Thai officials the river has been more acidic than ever. Maybe the rays were poisoned or maybe there were other reasons – nobody knows for sure.
Giant Stingrays are considered to be endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and a lot of things are still unknown about them. Though their population needs to be studied, Thai officials try to figure out the reasons of their death. According to Zeb Hogan, host of the Monster Fish series on Nat Geo Wild, the polluted nature caused by the near factories can be one of the reasons. The river is not clean and as such it can be very dangerous to their health. So, the reduction of pollution can save stingrays for some period of time.
In general a stingray can be weighed till 1000 pounds. It measures approximately 14 feet in length and 7.9 across. Nobody can affirm how many rays still exist but the fact that their number is going to fall is evident. Their future is uncertain as rays are among the most threatened vertebrates on the planet.
Stingrays are very large and strong. They are considered to be the world’s largest freshwater fish. Due to their strong nature they can even break a fishing gear. They are found in temperate seas of South East Asia and Australia. Many rays have jaw teeth which enable them to eat mollusks such as clams, oysters and mussels. But overall stingrays are not considered good to eat, so the fact that they could be targeted by fishermen has been rejected.
The alarming rate of the death of stingrays in Thailand’s Mae Klong river is really mysterious and another theory of this case suggests that they have been killed after spills of ethanol. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also says that this dramatic decline could have been occurred because of serious pollution and overfishing. Though it is said that the stingrays are not hunted so much, they die as a by catch of other fishing. Sure, there can be many dangers but one thing remains true and no one can ignore this fact: the main dangers are all man-made that include oil spills, pollution, dam building etc.
Many efforts have been launched to protect these giant creatures. Even Leonardo DiCaprio, who is not only an actor but an environmental activist, announced at the “Our Ocean Conference” that the overexploitation and ongoing decline of rays should be stopped and we are the ones to help this process.
The international coverage will be very effective as it will encourage taking up some more measures to protect these incredible stingrays that are listed endangered.
We are the ones to protect them and deal with this issue seriously as the mysterious death of these giant stingrays is not a joke and should be studied carefully. Stingrays are close to extinction, so let’s start their prevention from now on!