Gaza fishermen have caught more than 200 Devil Rays over the past two
days, a rare haul that was proudly displayed on the beach before being
carried off to market on donkey carts.
"It is a godsend,"
fisherman Abu Mahmoud al-Issi said on Thursday, the second day running
that fishing boats operating from the Palestinian enclave had caught
dozens of the giant ray, that are similar to Manta rays.
the fish weighed 700 kg (1,540 lb), locals said. Giant Devil Rays are
listed as an endangered species by the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Gaza residents rushed to the beach
and took photographs as butchers cut up the fish, with the meat going
on sale for as little as 10 shekels ($2.7) a kilo because of the
Large schools of Devil Rays, which grow to more than
five meters in width, are often found about this time of year off the
Gaza and Egyptian coast.
"We have not witnessed such a scene for
seven years because of the blockade," said Issi, referring to a 3-mile
limit that was extended as part of a ceasefire deal between Israel and
Gaza's Hamas rulers, giving fishermen access to deeper waters.