WASHINGTON — Brutal and wasteful. That’s how supporters of a ban on a fishing tournament targeting the cownose ray describe annual contests that encourage participants to kill the rays that nurse their pups in the Chesapeake Bay.
But contest supporters say they’re needed to curb the ray population: Watermen insist the rays arrive in droves and scoop up oysters like vacuum cleaners.
Both sides testified in hearings before a Maryland Senate committee during the General Assembly session in Annapolis.
Dennis Fleming, who runs a fishing guide business, told lawmakers that “killing an animal for fun, and then throwing it into a dumpster to rot, goes against everything I’ve ever been taught about respect for the Chesapeake Bay.”