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Queen of the Thornbacks

17 November 2009 by Alison

Lady stands with arms folded

‘Queen of the Thornbacks’ Rachel Ball stands in World Museum aquarium

If I could be described as anything it certainly wouldn’t have the words ‘Queen of..’ used as a prefix, it would probably be ‘pain in the ..’. However there are people who definitely deserve to be given such a praising pseudonym.

For example on Natural World on BB2 last Wednesday evening biologist Andrea Marshall was given the nickname ‘Queen of the Mantas’. This is deservedly so, as the documentary showed Andrea giving up everything for a life in Mozambique to study the endangered species of Manta Rays (to watch again click on the iplayer)

Although she would probably blush at the thought of it, Andrea reminded me of Rachel Ball, our aquarium curator at World Museum. Although she hasn’t left her life in the North West to save Manta Rays in a far flung part of the world she is making an effort to help conserve Thornback Rays.  The Thornback’s have been decreasing in numbers since the 1980’s so Rachel, her team and volunteer anglers are tagging rays in the name of conservation project RayWatch in the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay in order to track them. With this in mind perhaps Rachel should be dubbed Queen of the Thornbacks?

To get involved in RayWatch you can sponsor a ray, to do so either call 0151 478 4918 or visit www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/raywatch

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