Click for Cheoy Lee Click for Nordhavn Click for Llebroc Click for Burger Click for Westport

Mass Migration of Stingrays

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by PropBet, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,221
    Location:
    Is Everything!
    Received this via email, and thought I'd post here.
    I've seen schools of fish, but never Stingrays.

    Mass Migration of Stingrays
    Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico. The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters..

    Gliding silently beneath the waves, they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Sandra Critelli, an amateur photographer, stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whalesharks.
    She said: 'It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind.

    'It's hard to say exactly how many there were, but in the range of a few thousand'

    'We were surrounded by them without seeing the edge of the school and we could see many under the water surface too. I feel very fortunate I was there in the right place at the right time to experience nature at its best'
    Measuring up to 7ft (2.1 meters) from wing-tip to wing-tip, Golden rays are also more prosaically known as cow nose rays.

    They have long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads and give them a cow-like appearance. Despite having poisonous stingers, they are known to be shy and non-threatening when in large schools.

    The population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates, in schools of as many as 10,000, clockwise from western Florida to the Yucatan .

    Attached Files:

  2. jrantle

    jrantle New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Victoria BC (home base Port Hardy BC)
    Thanks for this post & the beautiful images. I've seen a giant ray doing sommersaults around an underwater light in Tahiti & it was an awesome sight. To witness this mass movement, however, even in pictures, leaves me speechless!
  3. OutMyWindow

    OutMyWindow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    ...............
    Very nice. Some years ago I was sitting high up on a cliff in Cabo and saw a similar sight with regular black rays blanketing a large Ocean patch.
    Sights like that stays with you for life.
  4. VikHatBer

    VikHatBer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Miami, FL and the Keys
    Great shots of a truly rare event. Who's gonna be the first to claim this is a result of Global Warming aka Climate Change aka anything rare in nature is the fault of humans? :cool:
  5. revdcs

    revdcs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Fowey in Cornwall
    Stunning sight!

    Thanks for sharing PropBet.
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Great Sight.

    I am sure this has been posted on YF before.

    In the early 80's I was on traveling up the West Coast of Sth America and came across a school of short stumpy dolphins as far as the eye could see doing flips, leaping in and out of the water, one of the greatest things I have seen in a long sea going career.
  7. Codger

    Codger YF Wisdom Dept.

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    926
    Location:
    Western Canada
    Great photos.
    The seas will never stop amazing us if we actually slow down and take a look.
    Way back, on a rig, we noticed some bubbling / splashing down in the water, which made us a bit nervous since it could have been a gas leak. Floodlights didn't show much so a candidate for the Darwin Awards tossed in a couple of magnesium diving flares. Fortunately not gas, shrimp, millions of them.
  8. Opcn

    Opcn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Nordland (near Port Townsend), WA, USA
    I think he would have made you all candidates.
  9. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Palm Beach, FL
    I was diving in Palau (back when that was my job) and I saw at least 150 manta's migrating. The smallest one was perhaps 10 feet across, the largest pushing 16. They were surrounded by sharks and jacks like a bomber group being escorted by fighter planes. The faded off into the distance so I could not see the total numbers- but they filled the waters from 30-130 feet and had a formation like geese take in flight. Certainly one of the top five sights I've ever seen in my 43 years, 3000+ dives and thousands of days on or under the water..
  10. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    Cairo - Egypt
    Wow............incredible pictures.

    Thanks for sharing.
  11. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Monterey, Maui, Salt Lake City
    Amazing pictures.

    Have you done any research about these rays in Baja? Do you know if this was an annual migration, are they were just following their food, or anything else?



    For that matter, do any of you know of any great websites as a reference for amateur marine biology?
  12. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,221
    Location:
    Is Everything!
    I personally do not know.
    I'd probably google stingray, migration, mexico and see what that turns up.

    I'd like to know. While I received the images via email, I'd love to see it in person.
  13. scott49

    scott49 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Woodinville,Washington
    Nice pictures Would love to see in person