Swimming with stingrays
Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you.
Take care if walking in murky water (such as around boat ramps). Shuffle your feet. A stingray may get alarmed if you step on it.
If you’re diving underwater around kelpy areas, avoid settling down on a resting ray or presenting yourself unexpectedly as a looming shadow that could be mistaken for a predator.
If you catch a stingray on a fishing line, don’t cut off its tail. Stingrays may regrow a barb, but they can’t regrow their tail. You will be depriving them of their only means of defense against Orca.
If you do receive a laceration from a stingray seek medical attention. Stingray barbs are serrated and removing one may cause more damage. Hot water applied to the wound can help to relieve the pain of the stingray toxin.
Be sensible around stingrays but don’t let your fear get in the way of a special experience. By day, Alison Perkins helps run our social network Neighbourly. But at the weekends, she is an underwater photographer who explores some of New Zealand’s least-known deep-sea wonderlands at InspiredToDive.com.