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Villagers haul in 'mystery' underwater creature

Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

AFTER three years of practically fearing the sea, villagers of Naiqaqi in Cakaudrove yesterday put that anxiety to rest after they caught the scary looking sea creature.

In 2010 villagers had raised their concern with this newspaper after they first sighted the creature.

Unknown to the villagers who have seen it for the first time, the top part of the creature, has features of a sting ray while the bottom is of the shark.

Village headman Jepeca Nakuvu said he went out fishing yesterday morning with a group of men when they saw the creature.

"About 1pm we saw the creature come our way and it was the same one we saw in 2010," he said.

"We didn't give it any second chance but chased after it for about 30 minutes until we shot it with our spear gun.

"It is so heavy and we loaded it and brought it home. At least our women can now freely go out to sea to do their fishing again."

The creature is similar to a giant guitarfish (rhinchobatus djiddensis), previously believed to range throughout a large part of the Indo-Pacific but recent evidence has shown that it, as traditionally defined, actually was a species complex consisting of four different species.





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