Stingray feeding« Previous post in category · Next post in category »
Early morning this morning to catch the low tide for some stingray feeding. We headed out onto the reef equiped with waist high gumboots (like fishermen) and bamboo sticks to keep our balance and prevent the stingray from climbing up our legs. There were two species of Stingray, the Eagle and the short-tailed, as well as plenty of herring and a couple of Kingfish. We formed a close line which also acted as a barrier to prevent the Stingray from approaching us from behind, or getting stuck between people. In order to feed the stingray, you have to hold some fish in your hand, pinning it down with your thumb and place your hand as low in the water as possible. The stingray comes along on top of your arm and sucks up the fish underneath it. Its quite scary when the large short-tailed stingray are hand fed as they come right over your arm up to the elbow before the bait is at their mouth. We also petted the stingray, who love to be rubbed on their front lip. If you rub them well, they pause and fall asleep for a short while. Some of the female short-tail had large scars on their backs, due to recent mating. The only way for the male to hold on is by biting the female.
The Kingfish was a bit more of a problem as it is a large and very fast fish which can bite. Everytime it came around we were instructed to keep our hands out of the water. We could also feed them by dangling a fish in the water.
This is a fantastic opportunity not to be missed if you are in Gisborne. It is also relatively cheap.
In the afternoon I headed back into Gizzy to visit the museum which I had missed yesterday. Although very small, it has a number of different art and informative exhibitions on local history and culture.
Feeding a Kingfish
Petting a stingray