Ray fish killed on Donkey Beach may not have been dangerous – fisheries official

The stingray discovered at Donkey Beach. Photo courtesy Jeanita Hill.

The presence of ray fish is common in the territorial waters of Dominica and the slaying of one recently is a sad occurrence, according to Chief Fisheries Officer Andrew Magloire of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries.

In an invited comment regarding the potential marine and environmental impact of a stingray discovered and killed by a youth on Donkey Beach on August 19, Magloire said this could not be established until the creature is examined and properly identified, for species and family origin.

“”People in Dominica have a habit of killing wildlife of which they are unfamiliar with,” Magloire added.

He said the public must understand that there are several species of ray fish, some of which have no venom like the stingray.

To date the creature has not been taken to the Fisheries Department, for the determination of its exact species and a distinction between its brothers. An eye witness reported that the young man after stabbing the stingray with a weapon brought it to shore and threw it back in the sea.

According to a Wikipedia Encyclopedia report, the ray fish is scientifically known as Batoidea with more than 500 described species in 13 families.

They are closely related to sharks, from which they can be distinguished by their flattened bodies, enlarged pectoral fins that are fused to the head, and gill slits that are placed on their ventral surfaces.

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  1. August 26, 2010

    To Itassian, I entered the notes of a study of stingrays, which I found on the Internet. Some of that study referred to the same place that you mentioned in your comments. The place is called Stingray City in the Bahamas. What you did not mention is that those stingrays there, are trained to respond to civilization. And so they do no harm to people, unless they are provoked.

    You mentioned swimming on the beaches of Dominica among them. You said that they move away from those who try to make contact with them. It is possible that God is protecting the ignorance of the danger of those animals, in those who are not cautious of that danger.

    As you talked against the killing of an iguana, you mentioned having enough chicken, beef, pork, and fish to eat. Well are we not talking about having to kill animals here as well? Are you suggesting that is is okay to kill the ones we need to eat, but it is not okay to kill the ones that are harmful or even deadly to our surroundings.

    In the cities of Canada, pigeons are a pest to those of us who live in apartment houses with open balconies. Not only do they build nests and breed on our balconies, but what about the mess of hatched eggs and shit, which they leave behind them? We need to install wired fences to protect our homes from those pigeons. That a cost some of us would rather use for something else.

    Somehow, someway, certain animals are a hazard to our comfort and our health. God declared that some of them are unclean. It would be a disaster if we were to nurture every species of animals in our surrounding for the purpose of keeping them alive.

    We need to categorize among domestic pets, animals that are meant for food, domestic, hunting, or fishing; wild animals which are harmful and those which will not hurt us; animals which are determined to be pests, meaning that they not wanted in our surrounding; and to treat them accordingly. But it is foolish to suggest that we must live among all sorts of animals because we desire to keep them alive.

  2. August 26, 2010

    As we commented about the stingray in our sea waters and its killing by a boy yesterday, I noticed all our different reaction, which was mostly for and against the action of the boy. The fact that most of us did have an accurate response as to what we should do when we encounter a stingray was defintely obvious.

    One smart commentator, who may have some knowledge of the danger of bumping accidentally into a stingray while swimming, pointed out that it is the same as bumping into a person with a gun.

    Unless that person is someone that I know and had a fight with, I would have no idea what he/she is about to do, but I know for sure that the bullet of a gun can kill me. What is more frieghtening is that with a gun in another person’s hand, it is almost impossible for me to attack or escape, if this bullet is meant for me.

    But with the stingray, the boy had the defensive power; and just like the peson with a gun, he may not have known whether the stingray was dangerous or not, but he may have heard some negative stuff about that fish. So he used the instinct that could save the lives of other swimmers, to get rid of it.

    It is true that cruelty to animals is wicked and evil. But what kind of animals are we talking about? Without the killing or slaughtering of cows, goat, sheep, chicken, and of course the trapping of the beautiful fishes of our waters, our bodies have no natural source of minerals, vitamins and proteins. Even the pills of vitamins and mineral that we use is secreted and processed from the muscles and blood of those animals. Insulin, for diabetes, is from the pancreas of cows and pigs.

    There is a Chinese store in the area where I live in Toronto. They have the water space and technology device to nurture some of their fish right in the store. I have witnessed them trapping the fish from the water; it is still moving its tail, but it goes on the scale and under the slaughter of a knife, to be cleaned and cut into pieces, for the customer who wants to buy it. How do those of us, who desire to have fresh fish for supper, respond to that treatment of the fish.

    Someone said that people eat stingrays, I do not know, but don’t those people have to kill it before they prepare it for food? What is the difference, if another person feels that he/she must kill it to protect his/her life or the lives of others? I am just trying to provoke the rest of us l to be sensible about the ideas we decide to challenge.

    What about the pests of mosquitoes, flies, bed bugs, cockroaches of all shapes and sizes, ants too. What about the rodents like rats, mice, and all the different species of lizards that live and reproduce in our cellars or basements. All of those animals spread bacteria that will affect our health, and disturb our comfort of living one way or the other. Don’t we need to find ways and means to protect ourselves from them? What do we do with a dog which has rabies? That dog bites needlessly, passing on its desease into our blood.

    I still believe that for the boy to have left the stingray alive in the water, would be the same as allowing the person with the gun to continue on his errand, without notifying the police, if the bullet was not meant for me.

    Another commentator named Sadden, suggested that those of us who have computers at home should use it to educate ourselves. Of course I am aware of that fact. And so I used that tactic to find out a bit about stingrays.

    I found many topics as I asked the question: “What is the danger of encountering with a stingray” from my google front page. From one of the different topics, I chose to read a study of someone from the United States, who studied the existence and ways of stingrays and its various species.

    That study pointed out that “:STINGRAYS are potentially dangerous and one should be wise to bear that in mind when interacting with them”. It went on to say that 1500 people suffer from stingray injuries, from the USA, every year. The study says that those are minor injuries which are treated, but it pointed out that some stingray injuries are “serious, even deadly”.

    That study gave an example “of a man from Australia who was swimming on the waters of a beach in Fiji, as he accidentally swam over a large stingray. The study tells us that the “barb” of the stingray punctured the swimmers chest, right into his heart. The man died two days later as a result of his injury”.

    The study warned swimmers that “the best way to treat a stingray spinning “is not to allow” it to happen in the first place”.

    People of Dominica how do you know that a stingray, which you might accidentally encounter is not dangerous? Some of you are bragging that you swim among stingrays all the time, and you are lashing at those who choose to be cautious.

    But have you ever thought that God may be protecting you from your ignorance of the danger of those fish? And that is exactly the case of those of you who brag like that. The study says that a stingray will not attack anyone, but it will always defend itself. How does the fish know that your accidental bump into it is not an attack?

    Yes, and our God of Love, which serves us with mercy and compassion, is a Living and Forgiving God, who continues to protect us, even those with foolish pride, haughtiness, and self-centeredness.

    To those of you Dominicans, who are concerned for your life and the lives of your children, continue to humble yourselves, and allow the wisdom and understanding of God to teach you how to be cautious. Have faith and trust in God, He will protect you from the dangers of this world, because of His Love for you.

    • Nudibranch
      January 23, 2011

      i have never read such garbage in my life!

      If they ray was going to defend itself the “boy” would be dead. I am sure everyone remembers the late Steve Irwin. Apparently his act of bravado has killed an animal that can live for 20 years for no reason. If you don’t know what it is why kill it. I bet it looked cool for the girls he was trying to impress.
      Whilst scuba diving it is possible to approach these wonderful animals very closely and just watch them, they are harmless, and will only lash out using their barb as a last resort under extreme stress. The same for snorkeling Stingray city has already been mentioned.

  3. cookie
    August 26, 2010

    these creatures are harmless until provoked.stingrays do not attack people unless provoked.People swim with them often.Steve Erwin was right over the ray that killed him.He got too close and it felt threatened.It acted in self defence. you cant say all rays are bad because of simillar incidents.I personally swim with them alot and even take close up photos of them.most times when i get real close to them they swim away.

  4. Itassian
    August 26, 2010

    Ignorance and mischief is the reason for much of the cruelty that we met out to the animals around us. When I first read the issue regarding the sting ray as a venomous fish. I thought this was some kind of invasive species or some never encountered species. These sting rays have been here with us all the time and there has never been any record of any hospitalization or death related to sting ray. Almost every time I bathed on Purple Turtle Beach, I would play with those stingrays but they never allow you to get too close to them. They always move away when you get too close.

    And as to them being branded as venomous, only a few species have that propensity. Take a trip to the Cayman Islands and you will see that there is a placed called Sting Ray City where there are thousands of these stingrays. People actually go there to swim among the rays, kids as well as adults.

    Our society has become so spoiled that we want to kill every thing we see. We try to kill every snake we meet on the road but not one of our snakes in Dominica are venomous. We try to crush every crab on the road as well. We scare our birds and shoot at them or stone them. I lived in Barbados for some time and you can actually feed doves in your hand. Can you do that in Dominica? No. The birds are wild because we are cruel to them.

    Our legislators need to enact laws that will protect our indigenous species of wild life from human cruelty. It looks like we want to eat everything we see as long as they have life. Many species need to be protected and one of them I would suggest is the iguana. There should be a lifetime ban on hunting of that species. Isn’t there enough chicken, beef, pork and fish for our food? I live in the Cayman Islands and and you dare not kill the Blue Iguana or you will be fined. The reptiles are so protected that there are designated iguana crossings where speed limits are in place.

    Dominica need to take cues from other countries that protect their wildlife; after all are we not called or do we not call ourselves the Nature Island?

  5. hmmm
    August 26, 2010

    i dont think i would kill it na. it would kill me by giving me a heart attack. this is scary looking even tho its “harmless”. As humans we hv a natural instinct to protect ourselves but it wasnt attacking the guy so i dont know why he killed it. Jus like that if he had gotten into an argument with another human being he would jus stab the person cos he hv de knife on him already.

  6. FattDoll
    August 26, 2010

    All you should cook it for the boy that stab it..with dumpling soft pare dumpling and force him to eat the whole Ray. Eat ALL…is you that kill it!…damn ignorant!

  7. j
    August 26, 2010

    we kill animals for no reason in DA, we poison dogs,and cats, kill other animals so we can have for food ( like turtles, birds etc). We must stop doing this and have more regard for the creatures, they are animals but also created being, God gave us dominion over them but its not so we can abuse them but its so we can take care of them

  8. nature
    August 26, 2010

    i felt very bad that a young person or persons would just kill the stingray and let it dreft by like that i was sadden by it these animale are not dengerous unless being threaten please the next time you see any thing like that on the beach capture it and take it to the fisheries dept or just help it back at sea thank you

  9. or
    August 26, 2010


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