September 29, 2010 Featured Article Read More →

Avoiding stress in rays and skates

image While tagging is important, the survival of the fish ALWAYS takes priority.

Returning the fish as soon as possible minimizes the stress to the animal. Recognizing signs of stress is important.

When elasmobranches get stressed, they flush blood to their extremities turning them pink. Stress can be caused by:

  • over playing a fish
  • removing it from the water
  • handling it badly
  • other situations outside its normal experience

It is important to learn to recognize these signs of stress as when these appear the fish should be returned to the water as soon as it safe to do so.

  • Strike early to avoid deep hooking
  • Be Prepared helps reduce the time the fish is out the water
  • Get wet! Carrying out as much measuring, tagging etc with the fish still in the water
  • Support the fish to protect internal organs.
  • Damaged fish should be released immediately
  • Familiarise yourself with the fish to gain confidence
  • Look after yourself! Shark skin is tough and abrasive, some species have thorns. If you get hurt you might drop the fish!

Read the handling guides and codes of best practice in our library.

Posted in: Tutorials
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