Almost immediately four perfectly formed, yet sadly under developed, rays were born into the blood-stained pool. Mother and progeny were discarded back into the ocean. Dead.
Curios onlookers took photos, oblivious of the tragedy they were witnessing.
An event not isolated to that specific morning. A logic assumed to ensure that future baits aren't destroyed by these "pests." It all makes sense if you don't know how these systems and food webs work. The fisherman simply does not understand that what he did was ecologically wrong, and is actually worse for his already crummy fishing success.
It is not too difficult a concept: removing unwanted "pests" such as sharks and rays has hefty knock-on effects down the food chain. This leads to ecosystem collapse, barren waters and no more fish to catch. This is not a theory and there is no "maybe" in this equation. This has happened, and is happening, all over the world. It is happening here in South Africa too.
With more pressure being placed on our ecosystems every day perhaps those in the know – surfers and beach goers alike – could educate the ignorant to try and stop such senseless waste. Perhaps events such as the one I witnessed on a popular beach could cease - and not due to a tragic lack of animals.