Stingrays Invade Gaza Strip

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Schools of endangered Giant Devil Rays were scooped up out of the sea by Palestinian fishers yesterday and splayed out onto Gaza City beach before being butchered and sold at the market.

“The sea creatures were promptly gutted and carted off to market where a fisherman said they could fetch up to $1.50 per kilo,” reported ninemsn.com.

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The Times of Israel clarified that the massive stingray slaughter was intentional and not a mysterious beaching as this and other media first reported.

The haul included some 220 mobula rays, which the IUCN Red List of threatened species lists as endangered. Israel is party to the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, which banned trawling below 1,000 meters and driftnet fishing. In November, Israel also extended the Gaza fishing zone from three to six kilometers (from about 1.8 to 3.7 miles) off-shore as part of a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.

Earlier this month Gaza fishers were wounded and arrested for breaching this agreement.

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IMAGE: A Palestinian policeman looks at thousands of stingrays that washed-up on Gaza beach. (Wissam Nassar/Corbis)

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