St­ingrays wash up on beach

Herald on Sunday - - THIS WEEK - By Ophe­lia Buck­le­ton

More than a dozen dead st­ingrays have mys­te­ri­ously washed up on an Auck­land beach.

Beach­go­ers were shocked to find more than 15 large st­ingrays scat­tered along St He­liers yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

The st­ingrays ap­peared un­in­jured apart from a few le­sions caused by seag­ulls peck­ing at their flesh.

“[Every­one] was pretty shocked to see so many dead, so many wasted.” Hol­ger Boehm

St He­liers res­i­dent Hol­ger Boehm went down to the beach with his son af­ter hear­ing about the dead st­ingrays.

He said the wing­span of the rays was about 90cm.

“It was a sad pic­ture see­ing all of the dead an­i­mals,” he said.

“[Every­one] was pretty shocked to see so many dead, so many wasted.”

Boehm said he had never seen any­thing like it in the six years he had lived in St He­liers.

“I saw one that had rel­a­tively deep lac­er­a­tions around its head but that may have been from the seag­ulls.”

Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion shark ex­pert Clin­ton Duffy said it was “very com­mon” for st­ingrays to get ac­ci­den­tally caught in fish­er­men’s nets.

“My guess is they have been dis­carded from fish­ing.”

Duffy said st­ingrays fed in­ter­tidally, which meant they didn’t get caught out by the tide.

Dead rays on an Auck­land beach.

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