Friends of Animals is horrified to learn from the Fish Feel organization that on Saturday, June 13, dozens of men pointlessly killed hundreds of harmless cownose rays––among the smallest and most innocuous members of the shark family––near the mouth of the Patuxent River on Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

More than 100 bow fishers in dozens of boats participated and cash prizes went to hunters who killed the heaviest rays.

Organized by Seabreeze Restaurant and Crabhouse and Fred’s Sports, self-described as “Southern Maryland’s largest hunting, fishing, and gun store, the so-called “Battle of the Rays” is not really a battle at all. Shot from boats with compound bows, gaffed and bludgeoned, the rays have no weapons to fight back.

Today Fish Feel held a news conference to premiere exclusive, undercover footage of the massive bloody slaughter of marine life last weekend. The new footage reveals what happened at the weigh-in station—how many of the rays killed were pregnant, gave birth when killed, and how the contestants then sickeningly misused the dead baby rays.

“There is no valid justification for the vicious massacre of these gentle creatures who are merely trying to survive. Scientists and the government have expressed disapproval of such reckless slaughter, and of the grave environmental consequences that could result,” said Mary Finelli, president of Fish Feel.

sting ray

1. To contact Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to urge him to get lawmakers to create legislation to end wildlife killing contests in the state, call 410-974-3901 or 1-800-811-8336 or email him using this link.

2. To contact your local Maryland legislators directly and urge them to introduce a bill to ban wildlife killing contests, click here.