DoE wants all captive stingrays set free

| 09/10/2012

stingray-3 (295x300).jpgCNS): The director of the Department of the Environment made it clear last week that the government agency does not support any stingrays being held captive. Following an operation last week where the DoE team went to rescue four of the marine creatures, which were tagged at the Sandbar but had ended up in captivity at one of West Bay’s dolphinariums, Gina Ebanks-Petrie said that she wanted to see the other six at the centre released. In connection with offers by both of the captive dolphin facilities to introduce breeding programmes, the DoE director pointed out that, at this point, the numbers of wild animals was not so dire to justify holding any of them in captivity.

“While numbers are falling at Stingray City, the stingray population is not yet endangered enough to see them taken into captivity to breed them,” the director stated. “There is no requirement for a breeding programme at this stage.”

She pointed out that the situation at the Sandbar is not really normal as the creatures are attending because they are getting a free meal and are in a semi-captive situation already.

“We’ve been concerned for some time about the health of that population at the Sandbar because, although it’s a wild situation, the parameters are not normal,” she said, explaining that stingrays are usually solitary animals. “What we have is a collection of solitary animals there because they’re being heavily provisioned; they show up and they get a free meal,” she added.

The director said she was disappointed that Dolphin Discovery had chosen not to release six other stingrays back into the wild, despite DoE requests. The four that the facility gave up had been tagged at Cayman's best known visitor attraction, which is a Wildlife Interaction Zone and the only place where it is against the law to take stingrays from the water. As the stingrays tagged at the location can move in and out of the zone freely, it is not known when or where the rays were captured.

The facility agreed to release the tagged creatures following their discovery at the facility by a local vet. The dolphinarium is, however, at this stage still retaining six untagged rays taken from local waters.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Are there any laws against Mexicans poaching Stingrays in Cayman waters? I guess I should re-write that, Is there any laws against Caymanian owned company poaching Stingrays to take to Mexico?

    • Anonymous says:

      There are no laws if these would get in the way of proft. 

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing in the NRA Law or Roads Law that prevents it.

    • Anonymass says:

      1) No law against catching stingrays outside of a protected area. Its only poaching if you saw them do it. Did you?

      2a) Export of live marine life not allowed without Marine Conservation board permission. (Marine Conservation Law paragraph 20).

      2b) Animals Law allows for regulations on the export of animals, none have been passed.

      3) Import into Mexico requires Mexican (live animals) permissions (animal health, etc.).

      4) The above does not constitute legal advice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Some body should check the stingray attraction in cancun Mexico and see if they rays are from the sandbar!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    That Dolphin park and its owners have no respect for Cayman or the intelligence of Caymanians.

    They placed a full page Ad in the Compass trying to make it look like they were doing such a great thing. 

    How stupid do they really think we are?

    You can't shoot someone and then put a full page in the paper after you're caught trying to make yourself look like a heor that you're tunring in the gun!

    ALL Caymanians and expats should unite in boycotting this park!  They have no care for Cayman or its environment.

    • I missed that says:

      What day on the Compass? I missed a good laugh, lol.
      I saw the one Dolphin Cove from Morgan's harbour placed to tell everyone that wasn't Dolphin Cove who have the Stingray, I thought it was fair enought…as they could be suffering for something they havent done.

  4. Pariahs on NW Pt says:

    Something is amiss here Cayman and just not adding up why 10 stingrays? What is now clear is that DOE needs to widen and reopen this probe to look beyond these shores. These dalliances with this company by the authorities is merely embolding them to turn up their noses and disguise the serious threat they pose to one of the pillars of our tourism economy. This facility clearly needs some sort of sanction by the government in absence of the law. Don't hold your breath though cause Junior minister Con Goldenchild is right their offering his support to the chagrin of his own poor constituents who's only economic venue is being strip of its assets to benefit his benefactors and their foreign interest.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The way things are going at the sandbar maybe those six are safer at the park. they also need someone to take some ghost orchids somewhere safe before the bulldozer,s get them all

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was disgusted by the damage control ads taken out last week by this company.  I was already against captive dolphins, but realised I could not make a difference and they had been allowed in, so suck it up.  

    Now we see the blatant LIES and DECEPTION that they are working with DOE to release the 4 tagged rays they held – but what about the other 6???  Pretty sure they came from the sound too – sadly, the lack of tags means these animal abusers get to keep them penned up.

    The day I see an ad touting they have released ALL the animals – rays, fish and dolphins, is the ONLY day I will have respect for the real animals that own and run this place.


  7. Expat Businessman says:

    One only hopes that the amount of bad press they are getting will pressure them to release the rays.

    Maybe this is the catalyst to pressure the government to finally sign a conservation law. All the natural life is what generates a huge amount cash inflow to the islands. This government is just short sighted.

  8. are you serious says:

    I heard they remove their tail sting…if they do….means i they are released in the wild again…it won't grow up again and the stingray won't be able to protect herself against any predator!!!
    Someone here does know if they remove it from them?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't know if they removed their tails.  That would be inhumane.  I have seen stingrays at aquariums in the US and their tails weren't removed.  You were allowed to touch some of them but they told you where and no stingrays were lifted out of the water.

  9. are you serious says:

    Ok, let's think this way…

    When you go to the Sandbar….how many male stingrays do you see there…just an approximate number!!! 

    I would say no more than 4 and sometimes, none. For those who doesn't know the differences , a male stingray has 2 so called claspers on the botton side of the disk and are much smaller in sizes than the females.
    So if you don't see much of the little ones, means you only are seing the females and to reproduce, you need a male witch Dolphin Discovery have 5 of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Come on DOE do something it's your job to protect the animals!
    CNS: There is no law protecting the stingrays, so there is nothing the DoE can do. That's the point. Speak to your MLAs – the ones who make the laws.
  10. Anonymous says:

    We ALL want to see those stingrays freed. AND the Dolphins come to that. There is no justification on earth for any of these creatures to be held in captivity in a concrete prision and held there for our amusement.

  11. Un- f#$@%^ believable!!! says:

    They are capturing the stingrays to compete with Dolphin Cove, as they offer on their package a free trip to stingray city…Dolphin Cove use a company called Native Way "a local company owned by a born and raised caymanian Mr. Eldon Ebanks" to do their trip to the "REAL Stingray City without any need to capture a stingray from the wild.


  12. insane says:

    Maybe the stingrays got inside their tank by one of the three pumps they have 24/7 or by mistake! Oh, I forgot they are in a tank…poor dolphins and stingrays cant see any other thing except walls.

  13. insane says:

    Come on people…do you think they would easily give up all the stingrays???? What it was going to happen with their millionaire contract with Carnival, Royal, Disney and others cruise lines that visit us???

  14. wild lover says:

    I want to see who is goint to support their free show on Sundays.

    They are bad minded people!!! That's all. 

  15. Animaliberator says:

    Perhaps our honourable premier can issue an executive order to have Dolpin Discovery do so as he has had no trouble doing this with other issues. For once,  this may not raise everyone's eyebrows if he did. Questions are? Does he like animals? Does he even care? Would anything be in it for him if he did?


    The clock keeps ticking………………………