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Image by Dorothy Birch Back ina landmark paper in Science changed how everyone thought about cownose rays. These smiley aquarium ambassadors suddenly became the most hated fish in the Atlantic.
As the press release for that paper stated: A team of Canadian and American ecologists, led by world-renowned fisheries biologist Ransom Myers at Dalhousie University, has found that overfishing the largest predatory sharks, such as the bull, great white, dusky, and hammerhead sharks, along the Atlantic Coast of the United States has led to an explosion of their ray, skate, and small shark prey species.
The study had all the ideal Ray ban paper of blockbuster research: It played to both sides of an age-old rivalry; it had a strong shark conservation message, providing much needed data to support the claim that sharks are vital ecosystem components. Yet at the same time, the study hit home with locals and fishermen, explaining why a once lucrative fishery was reduced to a mere shell of its former glory.
The phenomenon it described—a top-down trophic cascade, with sharks as the key species—had been hypothesized for years but never demonstrated. Frankly, it just made sense. The paper became one of the most well known studies ever conducted in marine ecology, garnering almost citations in the last 9 years.
Rays, after all, are just flattened sharks, and share many of the same life history characteristics that make sharks so vulnerable to Ray ban paper in the first place. That rebuttal was published last week in Scientific Reportsand it tears the notion of a shark-ray-shellfish trophic cascade to shreds.
Sharks, Flat Sharks, and Shellfish Grubbs was immediately skeptical of the the paper. Yes, they occur in the same areas, but if large sharks control cownose ray populations through predation pressure, then scientists should find lots of rays in the stomachs of those sharks all the time.
The support for the cascade gets even shakier when the stomachs of the rays are factored in. In fact, cownose rays prefer clams over oysters to begin withand softer shelled mollusks in general, as large oysters are too big and tough for the rays to eat. Even non-profit organizations were convinced by the compelling narrative, helping spread the notion that the rays were an environmental disaster.
Suddenly, it was open season on cownose rays, and people began killing as many as they could. Cownose ray bow hunts, in particular, have become a popular sport. Has the mouth feel of veal. Mild flavor profile allows Ray to work with a wide range of herbs, spices, and sauces.
Cooked to medium rare there is very little shrinkage. Suitable for any course: Chefs are raving about the versatility! While the food market floundered, recreational ray fishing boomed.
She described some of the stomach-churning practices employed in the tournaments—practices which arose because the rays were so villainized. In addition to their bad reputation as shellfish thieves, cownose rays are considered a nuisance to fishermen because their large schooling aggregations can clog nets and trawls, damage expensive gear, and inhibit landings for more lucrative species.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science VIMS has conducted a similar survey with more stations for nearly as long sincefor example, which Myers and his colleagues could have examined. A fishery-independent shark survey from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found shark populations increased alongside those of rays.
Part 1 of Figure 2 from Grubbs et al. The well known decline of shark species globally is part of what made the results of the North Carolina survey so easy to believe.
But the United States was one of the first countries to regulate their shark fisheries, and since rules were imposed, the sharks have begun to rebound. Figure 5 from Grubbs et al.
Lessons From The Ghost of Rays Past Fishermen and locals often cite large herds of cownose rays as evidence that their populations are doing just fine. Fromthese rays filled seine nets off Rio Grande do Sul, with hundreds to thousands caught in each haul. At first they were considered trash fish and tossed, but when the fishing community realized that the rays were considered a Korean delicacy, they began keeping their ray landings, and the Brazilian cownose ray market flourished.paper + tee or Ray-Ban; Women's Clothing - Fashion Brands.
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