Author: Debbie (---.asm.bellsouth.net)
Date: 02-18-06 21:19
Well, I don't think they're dangerous. I think they're beautiful! My most recent pictures are of eagle rays, not stingrays. Southern stingrays are somewhat common in Culebra; this type of stingray, if you step on its barb, can "sting" you, and their barbs are venomous, according to Reef Fish Identification, by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach. The general rule is when entering the water from a sandy beach, do the "stingray shuffle" - shuffle your feet in the sand until you have reached a point where you can swim. This shuffling will scare up any stingrays and make them move on. Once you are on top of the water and they are below, they will not harm you. They are only harmful if you step on the barb. Much like a sea urchin; it's a docile character unless you step on it. Spotted eagle rays are very wary of humans; they will not purposely come near you.
Barracudas are curious animals. They like to follow divers around, which can be unnerving, but seems to be more out of curiosity than anything else. Never seen a barracuda "attack".
As for sharks, the only ones I've seen in Culebra are nurse sharks, and they too are docile animals. They just lie under ledges and in the sand, observing the world around them.
Hope this helps; respect Mother Nature's creatures, and they will respect you.