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December 29, 2017


Photo of the Week: School of Cownose Rays - Saki (CBF)

Dear <<First Name>>,

Ray Advocate Selected for the Cownose Ray Workgroup
We just received confirmation that Fish Feel’s Mary Finelli has been selected to serve as a member of Maryland’s Cownose Ray Workgroup. (Mary also chairs the Save the Rays Coalition.) The Workgroup will provide input for a management plan the state will develop for the rays. The plan will include “biological, technical, and socio-economic information to identify problems and present management recommendations to address those problems.” The initial meeting is scheduled for January. Background information on our campaign to protect the rays is at:

Victoria’s “Crackdown on Marine Animal Cruelty”
The Australian state of Victoria recently tightened fishing laws after images of a ray with his/her “wings and tail hacked off” went viral. A petition for the rays garnered more than 33,000 signatures (the petition for cownose rays in Maryland received over 230,000 signatures), and the majority of the nearly 1200 submissions the government received on the issue called for greater protection of rays. It is now "illegal to take rays, skate and guitarfish from around piers, jetties, wharves or breakwaters...The daily bag limit for these species [has been] reduced from five to one and anglers will be banned from reeling in the marine creatures larger than 1.5m [5 ft.] wide." Click here for full article.

Ray Appreciation
In Sydney, swimmers were delighted to encounter a school of cownose rays. “'We’ve seen whales, dolphins and turtles on our morning swim, but we haven’t seen anything that amazing for a while. It was really uplifting.'" 

In Maryland, Saki’s photo of a school of cownose rays is this week's Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) “Photo of the Week” (displayed above). The photo is accompanied by a quote from Saki that reads in part: “It is times like this that I truly feel at peace.” CBF urges readers to ensure that “future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights and places like these along the Chesapeake.”

The Shape of Water
If you have time during the holiday weekend (or after) we recommend catching the new movie, The Shape of Water. This “dreamy, delightful masterpiece” includes numerous references to aquatic animals, such as a mute and vulnerable main character, her love for an aquatic being, a human hooked through the mouth and hauled, cruelty to crustaceans, and the wrongness of vivisection.

“The film is very much a tale of finding beauty inside another person, of looking deeper to find their soul shining through, beyond what others may see as a deficiency. Or even a difference in species,” explains movie critic Michael Smith. The movie's message is indeed to appreciate and respect others regardless of their class, gender, race, or species. When it comes down to it, we are all animals, and as sentient beings we are all deserving of respect and compassion. This marvelous movie has been nominated for 14 Critics’ Choice Awards and is a definite Oscar contender. Catch it on the big screen!


“Glad to have you as a friend” - The Shape of Water

Please Remember Fish Feel
We hope the new year is a peaceful, just, and happy one for fishes and for all animals and their advocates. Thank you for your support of Fish Feel, which we hope you will consider contributing to with your year-end donations - or at any time! 



Fish Feel is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.


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