Pregnant rays and babies pay a price after ‘catch and release’ from fishing trawlers

Leonardo Guida, Richard Reina

Research output: Other contributionOther

Abstract

Rays are among the species most vulnerable to overfishing and are often caught incidentally in commercial trawlers and released as unwanted bycatch.

Unfortunately, we’re probably underestimating the impact that fishing is having on ray populations. Although some will survive capture, we know little about the non-lethal and long-term effects of that stressful experience.

Included in those unknowns are questions relating to reproduction. In particular, what if the captured ray was pregnant? Would she still give birth? If she did, would her offspring survive?

Our latest research shows capture stress can reduce a mother ray’s body condition, and also affects the health of her offspring – in much the same way that stress during pregnancy can affect humans.
Original languageEnglish
TypeArticle for The Conversation
Media of outputThe Conversation website
PublisherThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2017

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