Stingrays everywhere!!!

#1
We are out on Playa Encanto and I have never seen so many stingrays in the water, and so close to shore! They are hanging out in as little as 3 inches of water! Many different varieties too. Our last renter had 2 stings in their group, and now another today. Any insight into what's going on? Don't forget to shuffle step when you go into the ocean!
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#2
Catch em and eat em............

You will be surprised how much they taste like the "fresh scallops" that they sell at almost every stall at the Malecon fish market.

JJ
 

Landshark

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#3
We are out on Playa Encanto and I have never seen so many stingrays in the water, and so close to shore! They are hanging out in as little as 3 inches of water! Many different varieties too. Our last renter had 2 stings in their group, and now another today. Any insight into what's going on? Don't forget to shuffle step when you go into the ocean!
I won't go in the water when they are there and doing their reproductive thing. There is just too many of them and I don't completely trust the stingray shuffle. Just not worth the risk.
 

Landshark

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#4
Catch em and eat em............

You will be surprised how much they taste like the "fresh scallops" that they sell at almost every stall at the Malecon fish market.

JJ
JJ, There were a couple guys at la pinta cleaning pen shells and selling them. Said they sold most of them to the Mayan palace for mucho dinero and they served them as scallops. Are they a clam, scallop, or what? Heard they are really tasty, thinking about going back to get some.
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#5
Shark.......

The Giant Pen Shell is closely related to Sea Mussels as both types manufacture strong threads that secure them to rocks, gravel, pilings, boats, etc. The Pen Shells around Penasco are usually found on gravel bottoms where they send out their threads and secure them to the larger rocks mixed with the gravel. They are easy to spot when snorkeling or scuba diving as the top edges of the shells are exposed just above the bottom. Sometimes they can be found on exposed beaches during extreme low tides especially in Cholla Bay and Bahia San Jorge. If you want to collect a boat load of them just head out to Isla San Jorge, there are beds of thousands of them especially at the south end of the island. When I fish there and the water is warm I'll usually anchor for a hour or so and collect thirty of forty of them. They are really difficult to pull up just by hand, the top edges of the shells are sharp as razor blades and the dozens of threads really keep them secured. What I use to get them is a 16 inch "cheater bar" one of those wide flat steel tools that roofers use to pull out nails. I just jam the bar into the gravel alongside the shell and pry them up then put them into a mesh collecting bag that I'll fill until I can hardly carry it. I'll get three or four loads on the boat then clean them right on the spot as there will be so much unusable shell and guts left over that you won't want to take them home to clean.

Some of them will be up to a foot or more long and each one has a tasty bit of muscle that clamps the shell halves together that might be as big as a marshmallow. Their meat is pale orange or yellowish in color and when you see them mixed with Scallops at the fish market you should realize that you're getting RIPPED OFF as the Scallop meat is pure white. They are tough as hell to chew on and require some special cooking to make them edible. I'll cut them into small chunks and saute them in olive oil or a beer batter fry. Once cooked and you start chewing you will still be spitting out rawhide tough bits and pieces. They are very tasty but no where near as good as a fresh tender Scallop, and as a matter of fact we are having beer battered Scallops tonight!

When cleaning them fresh from the sea you will note an interesting phenomenon, everyone of them has a pair of a male and a female small transparent shrimp inside. The larger male has a specialized elongated claw that has one big half and another tiny half that is like a trigger on a pistol, hence their name Pistol Shrimp. When they snap the small half against the big half noise is produced that resonates inside the big half. Sometimes when I'm diving the noise from these shrimp is incredible. There are several species of them locally and most aren't parasites like those inside the Pen Shells. Another oddity that most, especially the larger Pen Shells harbor is a noodle thin transparent eel-like blind fish that gets up to four or five inches long. They live in the siphon of the mollusk and must feed on larger plankton animals the the Pen Shell would rather have for himself.

Both the shrimp and the fish live inside the Pen Shell as parasites but don't really do any damage other than stealing bits of food. They are known as commensal parasites and are found in other animal relationships around the world. Some have almost sci-fy life cycles often living in two or more hosts before residing as blind helpless adults within their final life long partner.

Wait till I tell the story of the Horney Toads and Red Harvester Ants!

Also, if the Mayan is selling them as Scallops then it is a.......RIP OFF!

JJ
 

Landshark

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#6
Thanks amigo, cool stuff. Now that I know all this I'm gonna have to get some and cook em for dinner. Always fun to try new seafood. I assume you cook em super fast like you would cook scallops.
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
#7
Yes, cook em fast, but just enough to neutralize the Red Tide toxin and California Sea Lion poop.

Be sure that you have a fresh roll of dental floss or tape handy as there will be some bits of rawhide firmly jammed between your teeth, but they are delicious.

JJ
 

Landshark

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
#8
Yes, cook em fast, but just enough to neutralize the Red Tide toxin and California Sea Lion poop.

Be sure that you have a fresh roll of dental floss or tape handy as there will be some bits of rawhide firmly jammed between your teeth, but they are delicious.

JJ
Yum, they come pre-seasoned!!
 
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