You know how it's pretty interesting to see a huge manta ray at Underwater World, or exciting to see one on a glass bottom boat? Well what is even cooler is seeing one up close, just by chance in the wild!
Night 2 at Rottnest Tim and I went and had a nice hearty meal at a resaurant by the water's edge. Good old beer battered fish and chips for me and steak burger that was 'the best ever' Tim concluded. We decided to walk out to the nearby jetty to hav a gander, and we saw little fish, more little fish,
And then suddenly we saw this HUGE stingray glide past!!! It was the size of a small dining table! I stuck a picture of my shoes on the photo, so you can see how big it is. And it had a short tail, which identifies it as the species "Smooth Stingray" I think. I'm surprised it came up in the photo as I took a bunch but it was too dark and they all looked black on the camera. It wasn't until I got home and went through them, this was the only one that showed up when lightened.
It hung around the jetty for a good 15-20 minutes, right up close in the shallows, moving back and forth below the jetty, over the sea grass, around and around, maybe feeding on the small fish?
And then we saw a second one! A different species, this one was much smaller, only a fifth of the size and had triangular shaped 'wings' and a splotchy back. I think it was a "Brown Estuary Stingray". It too glided around for awhile, before both swimming off to where ever else they go at night.
The first thing my dear old mother said when I told her about seeing these stingrays was "Did anyone catch it? I wonder how you can fish it?". They are protected species! One needs a license to catch such a beautiful ocean beast! And I hope there are not many licenses out there.
So to anyone else with a huge stomach reading this, NO! You can't catch stingrays to eat them! It's illegal! And besides, they are way too amazing ALIVE in the wild!