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Creating a Market for Cownose Rays is Not Best Solution to Oyster Dilemma

Last year, when scientists planted 750,000 oysters on a large reef in the Piankatank River, they thought it might prove to be a model for future large-scale restoration efforts.

Cownose rays, on the other hand, thought the exposed oysters lying on top of the reef were lunch. A herd of the winged fish descended on the reef, picking off the oysters. Within days, hardly any were left.

Tales of cownose rays ravaging oyster restoration sites, as well as some underwater grass revegetation projects, have become so common around the Bay that plans are in the works to turn the tables on them-by putting them on the table.

By creating a food market for rays-and therefore a fishery-some fishery managers hope to cull the ray population. 

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