Photo credit: Paul Kay
The Common Skate, Dipturus batis, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The largest European ray, growing to at least two metres in length, it is found in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Common Skate was once one of the most abundant rays in the northeast Atlantic and made up a large part of commercial catches. Since then, it has undergone dramatic declines, particularly around the British Isles. Caught both by fisheries targeting this species, and as bycatch, its long lifespan and slow maturation mean the Common Skate has little ability to withstand high levels of exploitation. This is probably the most threatened marine fish in the world.
The Common Skate is not subject to any species-specific conservation measures across its range, though it would likely benefit from more general regulations prohibiting fishing in the North Sea and Mediterranean. Suitable non-trawling areas may also be needed to protect both adults and eggs from capture by trawling gear.
To learn more about the Common Skate, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.