Stingrays washed ashore at Hail Beach

Muscat: Numerous stingrays were found dead this morning at the Hail Beach, washed ashore along with mackerels.

Out for an early morning walk, Maryam Khalfan was in for a shock as she and her family kept coming across stingrays and other fish one after the other.

“What was intriguing was they were so far away from the water so maybe it happened during the high tide,” said Maryam.  “The more I walked, the more fish I saw,” she added.

The majority of the fish were spotted opposite Masjid Fatma on Al Hail Beach.

“I found them across from the beach near Al Mouj towards Al Hail.  The entire beach was covered by the stingrays and other fish varieties,” she noted.

Stingrays are known to swim in shallow waters feeding on smaller fishes.

This is what Captain Saheem Salem, a fisherman who has now moved into the tourism industry has to say from his professional perspective, “Water is very cold now.  However, ray stings like to hunt near shallow waters but the danger is also that they run out of oxygen.  On some occasions they get trapped in fishermen’s nets which could have been close to the shore and they might have dumped them.  This however is for a long-distance and fishermen have been exchanging videos of the seagulls feeding on the dead mackerels.  I am seeing this for the first time.”

He reflected, “A couple of years ago huge schools of tuna came into Marina Bander Ar Rowda and died.  This could have happened again and ray stings like to feed on mackerels and sardines.  But they would run out of oxygen which would eventually kill them. And about 10 years ago in a village near Bander al Yiti a number of dolphins were stranded because they were escaping from killer whales and then they did not know how to go back.  But this is the first I am seeing so many rays for such a long stretch. ”