"They shoot them, they pull them up, they beat them with a baseball bat, they throw them in a barrel and [the rays] suffocate, and then they dump them back in the water. It's just very inhumane. I don't think we should treat any live species that way," state Sen. Ron Young told WBALTV.
Young drafted Senate Bill 268, which would make contests like the Battle of the Rays illegal. It has garnered the support of ALDF, among other animal rights groups.
You can write to your representatives about supporting a bill that would end these cruel contests, or you can write to the Maryland Office of Tourism and tell them what you think. You can also sign a petition to save the rays.
A Facebook page for the Battle of The Rays did not immediately reply to The Dodo's request for comment.
Update: After The Dodo published this article, Mike Hutt, executive director of the Virginia Marine Products Board, the marketing arm for the Virginia Seafood Industry, told The Dodo that the rays do not taste like urine, when prepared correctly. "It tastes like what you put with it," Hutt said.
Update: The Maryland Senate voted 46-0 to put a two-year moratorium on the cownose ray fishing contests until a study of ecosystem impacts could be completed.