Banjo sharks and smooth rays are greatly loved by locals and tourists. Hirschfield described smooth rays as “ocean puppies with a focus on food.”
“People who are walking or fishing on the piers can often look down and see the carnage in just a few meters of water,” she told Scuba News in May.
The bottom-feeding rays are attracted to piers because fishermen throw unused bait into the water, which makes them especially vulnerable to being caught accidentally in these areas.
After seeing so many rays suffering, the recreational diving community discussed the situation and reluctantly agreed to euthanize injured rays. Their ultimate goal is to stop ray killings through education and legislation.