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spotlight: Chesapeake Ray

Eating rays may save Cheasepeake Bay
CNN photojournalist John Bena introduces us to a new delicacy that may help save the Chesapeake Bay.

Would you eat a cownose ray? Virginia hopes so.
For many fishermen, the Chesapeake ray is an odd-looking nuisance that packs a punch; a stinger near the tail is best avoided. But it's also a meaty fish, with about 7 pounds of flesh on an average-size ray.

Help the Bay, eat a Chesapeake ray.
Over the past decade, the Chesapeake ray population has swelled as stocks of the species' natural predator, the shark, have declined. The rays have been devastating oyster and clam beds up and down the Eastern Shore.

Save the Bay, Eat a Ray.
As the cownose ray population explodes due to a decline in their natural predators, Chesapeake oysters, clams and scallops are threatened — prompting Virginia to launch a campaign to insert humans into the top of this food chain.

A cownose by any other name is edible.
Cownose rays are becoming a growing menace on fishing in the Cheasapeake Bay. So some local oystermen are finding ways to turn the predators into a meal. But to make the rays more appetizing, they need some good marketing.

Chesapeake Ray -- the new veal?
"...the dish was divine. From start to finish, we couldn't believe we were eating a sea dwelling creature. There is absolutely no fish flavor and the flesh IS like veal."