Researchers Tag and Track Giant Eagle Rays

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) _ Mote Marine Laboratory researchers are tagging and tracking giant eagle rays in the Gulf of Mexico.

The giant rays _ which can weigh up to 200 pounds _ make the west coast of Florida home between March and November.

Where they go in the winter remains a mystery.

In Florida, it is illegal to kill spotted eagle rays, but elsewhere in the world, fishermen catch them to sell for food.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune ( reports that scientists want to fill the research gaps by finding the rays’ growth rate, their population size and whether they breed off the Florida Keys, Cuba or Mexico.