Cownose rays not to blame for shellfish declines, study says

Researchers led by Florida State scientist counter widely quoted 2007 study linking shark declines to an explosion in rays, which then devoured oysters, clams and scallops

Contrary to earlier research and popular belief, cownose rays are not to blame for declines in oyster and other shellfish stocks in the Chesapeake Bay, a new study asserts.

In a paper published today in the journal Scientific Reports, a team of scientists led by Florida State University’s Dean Grubbs counters a widely cited 2007 study that found that the overfishing of large sharks had led to an explosion in the population of rays, which in turn had devoured bivalves, clams and scallops along the East Coast.

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Foto: Kuhnasenrochen (Rhinopterus bonasus) (c) J. Chladek, D.E.G.