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.