Mexican authorities are investigating the death of at least 300 stingrays found on a beach of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. Residents and visitors first spotted the dead rays on Tuesday on the Chachalacas beach in the town of Ursulo Galvan and posted photos on social media.
Ursulo Galvan Mayor Martin Verdejo says it’s possible the stingrays could have been abandoned by fishermen after being trapped in their nets. Upon realizing they were unlikely make much profit from their sale, they simply emptied their nets along the beach.
Others say the dead came rays were washed ashore by the waves at sunrise. Beachgoers say it appears that many of the rays fins were cut and it is believed that fishermen sold the parts of the fish they were able to sell and then simply left the remnants.
Food vendor Adriana Loredo says she was at the beach when she saw fishermen dumping the rays from their nets. Chopped stingray wings are commonly served as snacks in Veracruz restaurants.
Whilst the stingrays remain on the beach, they remain a danger to tourists, as although they are dead, their stings remain potent, which although not poisonous, are extremely painful.
This is not the first time large numbers of rays are found stranded, even though this one appears to have an explanation. In February this year, a reported 220 Mobula Rays were mysteriously washed up on the beach in Gaza City, Palestine.