December 22, 2010 Featured Article Read More →

Haven for undulate rays

Original article here.

A  haven for one of Dorset’s most endangered marine animals has been discovered in Swanage and Studland bays.

The area has been identified as a nursery ground for undulate rays, one of the prettiest and smallest of the British skates and rays, with its pattern of delicate wavy lines surrounded by pale dots.

The undulate ray is listed as endangered, with commercial fishing of the species banned since 2009.

“It is exciting to discover that the Studland/Swanage area is so important for this lovely animal, along with all the other amazing marine life there,” said Julie Hatcher, the trust’s marine awareness officer.

“Now, thanks to the volunteers and divers who collected the information and photographs, there is evidence to get the site protected.

“We hope that everyone will support moves to protect the nursery area at Studland and Swanage through new marine Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Conservation Zones.”

The trust has issued advice to help protect the endangered species which is to avoid eating skate/ray unless you are sure it is not undulate ray. anglers are asked to release them unharmed if caught.

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